Thursday, February 22, 2018
Politics

PolitiFact: Shutdown caused some CEOs to delay hiring over next six months

The statement

"Half of all CEOs say that the shutdown and the threat of shutdown set back their plans to hire over the next six months."

President Barack Obama, Oct. 17 in a public address

The ruling

The White House pointed us to a recent Business Roundtable survey.

"Fifty percent of responding CEOs indicated that the ongoing disagreement in Washington over the 2014 budget and the debt ceiling is having a negative impact on their plans for hiring additional employees over the next six months," the report reads.

On its face, that's in line with what Obama said, but we wanted to see how Business Roundtable acquired its results. Their report notes, "Responses were received from 134 member CEOs, 63 percent of the total Business Roundtable membership."

Business Roundtable's membership tends to be larger companies. Spokeswoman Amanda DeBard told us CEOs are invited based on revenue, industry and market capitalization, so it's safe to say the poll responses don't reflect a random sample of U.S. businesses.

We ran the poll results by another business group, the National Federation of Independent Businesses. Senior policy analyst Holly Wade said she saw a similar sentiment among the smaller business owners that the federation represents.

"In September, there were more small-business owners that were feeling pessimistic about business conditions six months out," she said.

There wasn't much opinion voiced about delaying employment specifically, though. But Wade said that could be because small businesses were already hiring less during the economic recovery compared to bigger corporations.

Why would CEOs want to delay hiring?

With another possible debt ceiling default looming Feb. 7, University of Maryland finance professor David Kass said it's likely that a budget deal will lead to tighter fiscal policy, which would slow down the economy and cause CEOs to put off hiring decisions for a few months.

Another factor that would contribute to CEO anxiety is consumer behavior. While day-to-day spending probably won't change post-shutdown, consumers will likely postpone higher-ticket purchases like homes and cars.

"On the demand side, there's uncertainty on the consumers' part, which in turn will have an impact on CEOs," Kass said. "They're trying to predict their future sales and what the environment will look like. It's a lose-lose situation for everyone."

Obama said 50 percent of CEOs are delaying hiring due to the shutdown, which accurately cites the results of a poll sponsored by the Business Roundtable. The survey's limited sampling, though, means the responses aren't necessarily representative of all U.S. businesses. We rate Obama's claim Mostly True.

Julie Kliegman, Times staff writer

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Romano: Welcome to Florida, a state more afraid of conversation than guns

Gun advocates are absolutely right about this:A ban on assault weapons will not end school shootings.How do we know?Because there was a federal ban on assault weapons for 10 years, and mass killings persisted. That’s because a ban deals only with fut...
Updated: 4 hours ago
Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

Focused on Cuba’s future, Rep. Castor skips meeting with Raul Castro

TAMPA — One highlight of a congressional delegation’s visit to Cuba this week was an impromptu meeting with President Raul Castro.But not for U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor.The Tampa Democrat joined five other Democrats on the trip, in part to investigate th...
Published: 02/21/18
Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on ‘chain migration’

Melania Trump’s parents are legal permanent residents, raising questions on ‘chain migration’

The parents of first lady Melania Trump have become legal permanent residents of the United States and are close to obtaining their citizenship, according to people familiar with their status, but their attorney declined to say how or when the couple...
Published: 02/21/18
Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

Alex Trebek will moderate a Republican debate in the Pennsylvania governor’s race

We’ll take "surprising side gigs" for $1,000! "Jeopardy" host Alex Trebek will moderate a debate among Republican hopefuls vying for the Pennsylvania gubernatorial nomination.The longtime game show star will be questioning candidates at an Oct. 1 for...
Published: 02/21/18
Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

Spring Hill candidate for Congress: ‘I care about this community — I will scream that from the rafters’

SPRING HILL — A Hernando County woman new to the political arena has filed as the fifth Democrat to run against longtime Florida lawmaker U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster for his spot in the U.S. House of Representatives.Dana Cottrell, 49, has lived in Sprin...
Published: 02/20/18
Updated: 02/21/18
St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

St. Petersburg regatta to Havana again buffeted by politics

The 2017 St. Petersburg-Habana Yacht Race was celebrated as more than a competitive regatta to Cuba’s capital city of Havana.The relaunch of the maritime competition canceled since 1959 was hailed as a reflection of the detente started under former P...
Published: 02/20/18
Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

Special counsel files new charge in Russia probe

WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian interference in the 2016 election charged an attorney Tuesday with lying to federal investigators about his interactions with a former Trump campaign official. A charging document filed in federa...
Published: 02/20/18
Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

Man featured on ‘Trump Dating’ site has child sex conviction

GREENSBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina man with a felony conviction for indecent liberties with a child was one-half of the poster couple for a new "Trump Dating" website.News outlets reported Monday that visitors to the dating site geared toward suppor...
Published: 02/20/18
Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Ex-workers at Russian ‘troll factory’ trust U.S. indictment

Associated PressST. PETERSBURG, Russia — While Russian officials scoff at a U.S. indictment charging 13 Russians with meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, several people who worked at the same St. Petersburg, Russia, "troll factory" say t...
Published: 02/19/18
Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Trump offers support for limited effort on background checks

Associated PressWEST PALM BEACH — From the confines of his Mar-a-Lago golf club, President Donald Trump offered support Monday for a limited strengthening of federal background checks on gun purchases while staying largely mum in the past few days ab...
Published: 02/19/18