The nation's chief financial officers anticipate the U.S. economy will be in good shape in 2015, with earnings at their companies rising a robust 9 percent and hiring on the upswing as well.
The latest survey of CFOs by Duke University and CFO Magazine found them projecting that hiring of full-time workers by their U.S. companies will rise 2.9 percent over the next 12 months. That's double the hiring outlook of CFOs surveyed a year earlier.
In addition, the CFOs project that wages and salaries will rise 3.4 percent, versus year-ago projections of 2.7 percent.
Also, 50.3 percent of CFOs reported being more optimistic about the U.S. economy, up from 43 percent the prior quarter and 33.3 percent a year ago.
The latest survey also explored the issue of millennial workers - those under age 35.
More than 70 percent of CFOs report "advantages to hiring younger workers," John Graham, a finance professor at Duke's Fuqua School of Business and director of the survey, said in a video released along with the survey. "These younger workers are more technologically savvy, they're more creative and innovative, and they bring a lot of positive change to the company."
But they also bring some baggage with them. About 53 percent of CFOs consider millennials less loyal to the company, 46 percent said they feel entitled, and 27 percent say millennials are more interested in their personal development than they are in the company.
Compared to companies elsewhere in the world, U.S. companies are taking fewer steps to accommodate millennials - such as offering more flexible hours and more mentoring opportunities and changing the corporate culture.
Just 40 percent of U.S. CFOs report that their firms are taking steps to attract and retain millenials, compared to 70 percent of Latin American and Asian companies.
The survey concluded Dec. 5 and included responses from 1,059 CFOs worldwide, including 517 in the U.S.