Those are the findings of a survey of CEO’s by ChiefExecutive.net (h/t @billhobbs):

Unemployment numbers remain consistently high and CEOs are wary of future business conditions. In fact, chief executives are so pessimistic that over 66 percent expect that the size of their workforce will either stay the same or decrease over the next year according to Chief Executive magazine’s CEO Confidence Index for August 2011.

Of those who plan to hire, most will do so in a limited way; 74 percent of hiring CEOs will increase their workforce by less than 10 percent. This does not bode well for the 9.1% of US workers who were unemployed in July.

What’s driving the pessimism?  A big part of it is Obamacare:

The ranking of hiring-inducing priorities that were ranked “important to extremely important” were as follows:

  1. Backlog of work or increased revenue — 88.2 percent
  2. Evidence of economic expansion — 77.2 percent
  3. Repeal of Health Care Reform or eliminate uncertainty over its provisions — 71.6 percent
  4. Reduction in government regulation of business — 62 percent
  5. Government holds line on debt ceiling — 56.3
  6. Reduced corporate tax rate to OECD average — 54.3
  7. Balanced federal budget — 53.9
  8. Gov’t passes all free trade agreements without delay — 48.8
  9. Repeal Dodd-Frank or eliminate uncertainty over its provisions — 48.2

Do you see a theme here?  It’s not just Obamacare, it is government getting in the way.