US companies expected to keep boosting hiring - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

US companies expected to keep boosting hiring

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (KWWL) -

U.S. companies will have to keep hiring steadily to meet their customers' rising demand.   

That's the message that emerged from a report Wednesday that employers are finding it harder to squeeze more output from their existing staff.  It also helps explain why ADP, a payroll provider, estimates that companies added 216,000 workers last month.   

Those findings reinforced confidence that 2012 will mark a turning point for the long-suffering job market and the economy.  Applications for unemployment benefits have tumbled.  Consumer confidence is at its highest point in a year.  And the stock market has been on a tear since the year began.   

Feeding on themselves, those trends tend to fuel further economic growth.

The brighter signs come two days before the government will issue the February employment report.  It's expected to show a third straight month of strong hiring.

Business executives are sensing the shift.  A survey released Wednesday by Duke University's Fuqua School of Business found that confidence among U.S. chief financial officers has risen to its highest point in a year.  As a result, the survey found that companies expect to increase hiring for full-time jobs by 2.1 percent over the next year, up from 1.5 percent in a survey in December.

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