Corporate investment and hiring is up and looking good—in the Asia Pacific. In the United States, not so much, reports the Wall Street Journal. The newspaper scanned the transcripts from 100 earnings conference calls, looking for references to jobs-related keywords. Only half the companies even addressed the subject, and executives who did so expressed caution. Overall, hiring plans were constrained to growth industries (tech and rail) and international markets (mainly Asia).
Who was optimistic? Temp companies announced more demand, but that's a mixed blessing, notes the Journal, as more temp hires indicate that companies are still not ready to commit to adding permanent workers. "We haven't gotten to sea level yet to get the other parts of the recovery: mergers, acquisitions happening in a different way; new product inventions," said the CEO of Manpower Group.