U.S. Lags Behind


lmost half (48%) of the top executives of U.S.-based multinationals said the country lost ground during the past five years in terms of its economic competitiveness with other countries and in educating its people to meet global business challenges (46%). Contributing to the United States’ poor showing were the heavy cost of worker health care and pensions (65%), the lag in manufacturing efficiency (38%) and the lack of available skilled workers (30%).

Many of the executives said their own companies or industries in particular were negatively affected by increased government regulation (63%), manufacturing’s shift to low-wage countries (51%), the availability of lower-priced goods from abroad (44%) and the greater education and skill levels of workers in other countries (42%).

Only 24% of the corporate leaders, however, pointed to underlying economic factors, such as the U.S. budget deficit and increased U.S. indebtedness to Far Eastern countries, as being responsible for setbacks in their companies or industries.

Source: “Management Barometer,” PricewaterhouseCoopers, www.barometersurveys.com , 2006.

SPONSORED QUIZ

How well do you know small business?

There are over 30 million small businesses in the U.S., and many of them are optimistic in their outlook. Are you familiar with the obstacles and opportunities they are facing? Test your small business acumen with this quiz sponsored by Chase Ink®.

SPONSORED REPORT

In focus: Payroll

Providing payroll services that comply with ever-changing regulations and meet evolving employee and employer demands is no easy task. Paychex's Tom Hammond discusses common payroll considerations for CPA firms.