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U.S. SENIOR EXECUTIVE HIRING, AN EARLY INDICATOR OF FUTURE OVERALL EMPLOYMENT, ROSE 16 PERCENT IN LAST HALF OF 1991

 U.S. SENIOR EXECUTIVE HIRING, AN EARLY INDICATOR OF FUTURE
 OVERALL EMPLOYMENT, ROSE 16 PERCENT IN LAST HALF OF 1991
 NEW YORK, Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Experts, who are predicting a U.S. economic recovery in the last half of 1992, have additional confirming evidence that a rebound is under way. Senior executive hiring, often a leading indicator of future overall employment trends, increased 16 percent in the


second half of 1991, according to the 80th International Index of Executive Vacancies, a quarterly report compiled by Korn/Ferry International. In the past, increased demand for senior managers has been an early indicator that businesses intend to expand their operations.
 "We at Korn/Ferry believe the president's proposals in his State of the Union speech are positive and will, if adopted, accelerate the recovery. Our survey of executive hiring convince us that the 'white collar recession' bottomed out in the first half of 1991, and the recovery began in the second half of last year," said Richard M. Ferry, president and CEO. "While overall, executive hiring was down 9 percent in 1991 when compared to 1990, we are definitely on the road back with the strong increase in demand for executives in the last half of 1991."
 "In economics, as elsewhere, pessimism is a self-fulfilling prophesy. At the beginning of 1991, the mood of corporate leaders ranged from caution to confusion," observed Ferry. "Our discussions with corporate leaders today reveal them to be more optimistic. Executive demand in financial services, high technology, consumer products and not-for-profit companies all posted increases in the last quarter. When the effects of housing's recovery ripple through the economy, this recession will be behind us."
 International Hiring Varies by Region
 The only part of the world that increased its demand for top managers in the face of a worldwide recession was Asia. Despite a global drop in consumer purchasing of many of its exports, Asian companies sought to hire 13 percent more senior executives in 1991 than it did in 1990. Long-term planning has worked well for several Pacific Rim nations and they apparently see little reason to adopt shorter-term horizons.
 INTERNATIONAL INDEX OF EXECUTIVE DEMAND
 Percentage Change 1990 to 1991
 U.S. - 9
 Europe - 23
 Asia + 13
 Latin America - 1
 The economic liberalization of Latin America has reinvigorated commerce in the area. Reduced taxes, privatization of state-owned enterprises and increased foreign investment has helped Latin America weather the recession well. While executive demand in the United States dropped 9 percent in 1991, in Latin America, it was virtually flat, although a higher proportion of the demand was for the most senior positions.
 Europe experienced the biggest plunge of management demand of all. The prospect of EEC unification at the end of this year brought about an unprecedented demand for top managers in the late 1980s and 1990. This very active hiring has proved to be unsustainable because the pent up European demand for senior executives had largely been met and the recession caused expansion plans to be put on hold. As a result, European executive demand dropped 23 percent in 1991.
 U.S. Industry Hiring Picture
 Investor confidence has given a long-awaited shot in the arm to the financial services industry with brokerage houses leading the way. Well-publicized troubles in some banks and insurance companies do not alter the fact that the vast majority of both types of lenders are healthy and have excellent long-term prospects. Even the troubled firms have had to rethink their management needs as a result of mergers and restructuring and are seeking executive talent to meet their current needs. As a consequence, demand for financial services executives rose from 15 percent of total demand in the fourth quarter of 1990 to 21 percent in 1991.
 Despite the anticipated cutbacks in defense spending, high technology firms increased their demand for senior executives from 8 percent to 10 percent during the same time period. Much of the gain was due to the growth in telecommunications industry and the ongoing shakeup in the electronics, computers and software sectors.
 The health care industry continues to show its own good health. Despite a drop from 17 percent to 13 percent of total demand between the last quarter of 1990 and 1991, it finished the year with 14 percent of overall U.S. demand up from 12 percent in 1990. Agriculture, natural resources, and energy tripled its share of executive demand from the fourth quarter of 1990 to 1991 and doubled for the year.
 The biggest industry loser in 1991 was the hospitality/leisure sector. Events in the Persian Gulf combined with uncertainty about the economy to keep Americans home-bound and tight-fisted. The purchase of several major Hollywood studios served to heighten the demand for top entertainment executives, but the weakness of the far larger hospitality/leisure industry caused the combined category to plunge from 4 percent to only 1 percent of national demand from the last quarter of 1990 to 1991. The drop for the year was from 5 percent to 3 percent.
 Real estate, wholesale and retail distribution, and transportation, utilities and communications all continued to see their share of total executive demand erode in 1991. While real estate and transportation are poised to make a comeback, many retailers remain hobbled by two consecutive disappointing Christmas seasons, excessive debt, and creditors unwilling to extend their exposure.
 U.S. Executive Demand By Function
 There's still room at the top, but not as much. After a surge in hiring toward the end of 1990, overall demand in 1991 for CEOs dropped from 16 percent to 12 percent of total. A new face in the CEO's office often means new faces in the board room and one consequence of the flurry of CEO hiring in 1990 was the increased demand for new board members in 1991. The proportionate demand for outside directors doubled from 2 percent to 4 percent from 1990 to 1991.
 Thirty-seven percent of total executive demand last year was for general managers, down from 43 percent in 1990, but still higher than usual when compared to the 1980s.
 Manufacturing executives, engineers, researchers and developers, and technicians fared better in 1991 than 1990. Their "market share" of executive demand rose from 7 percent to 9 percent. Marketing and sales, and advertising and public relations executives also saw demand for their services increase as companies sought a competitive edge during difficult times. Demand in these functions increased from 15 percent to 17 percent between 1990 and 1991.
 The U.S. Regional Picture
 Both coasts saw their proportionate share of overall executive demand drop from 1990 to 1991. In 1991, the East accounted for 33 percent of the national demand; in 1990, 35 percent of the senior management demand was in the region. The West fared even worse, plummeting from 32 percent of overall demand in 1990 to only 25 percent in 1991, reflecting the continued weakness of its real estate and banking industries.
 The Midwest saw its share of executive demand rise from 14 percent to 17 percent in 1991 as a result of the growth in manufacturing back orders and factory output. The Sunbelt continued to attract jobs from other regions. The Southeast went from 12 percent to 15 percent of the country's executive demand in 1991; the Southwest grew from 7 percent to 10 percent, during the same period.
 750 Companies Surveyed
 The International Index of Executive Vacancies is based on a quarterly survey of 750 Korn/Ferry clients, which are among the world's largest corporations and non-profit organizations, including government agencies, universities and cultural institutions. The index records the hiring of senior executives earning $100,000 or more annually.
 Korn/Ferry International
 Headquartered in New York and Los Angeles, Korn/Ferry International specializes in management searches at the senior level. The firm maintains 16 offices in major U.S. cities with a total of 43 offices worldwide in key business centers throughout North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia/Pacific and Australia. In addition to serving its clients' executive recruiting needs, Korn/Ferry provides related consultation services in executive compensation and organizational consulting.
 NATIONAL INDEX OF EXECUTIVE VACANCIES BY INDUSTRY
 Fourth quarter Year end
 1990 1991 1990 1991
 (Amounts in percent)
 Agriculture/Natural Resources/Energy 1 3 2 4
 Chemical & Related Products 4 4 5 5
 Technology (Electronics, Computers,
 Software, Defense, Telecommunications) 8 10 10 8
 Machinery, Manufactured Products 12 11 11 11
 Consumer Products (not elsewhere
 classified) 8 8 6 7
 Transportation, Utilities, Communications 10 8 10 8
 Wholesale & Retail Distribution 4 4 6 5
 Financial Services (Banking, Brokerage,
 Insurance) 15 21 16 19
 Real Estate, Building, Construction 2 2 3 2
 Health Care 17 13 12 14
 Not-for-Profit, Government, Associates,
 Education 11 10 10 9
 Hospitality/Leisure, Entertainment 4 1 5 3
 Miscellaneous Professional Services 4 5 4 5
 Total 100 100 100 100
 Reduction permitted with attribution to Korn/Ferry International.
 NATIONAL INDEX OF EXECUTIVE VACANCIES BY FUNCTION
 Fourth quarter Year end
 1990 1991 1990 1991
 (Amounts in percent)
 Board Level 2 4 2 3
 Chief Executive Officer 16 12 15 16
 General Management 44 39 43 37
 Finance & Control 7 11 9 9
 Human Resources & Administration 7 7 6 7
 Information Systems 3 1 3 2
 Manufacturing, Engineering, R&D,
 Technology 7 9 7 10
 Marketing & Sales/Advertising &
 Public Relations 14 17 15 17
 Total 100 100 100 100
 Reductions permitted with attribution to Korn/Ferry International.
 NATIONAL INDEX OF EXECUTIVE VACANCIES BY REGION
 Fourth quarter Year end
 1990 1991 1990 1991
 (Amount in percent)
 East 32 39 35 33
 West 32 24 32 25
 Midwest 12 13 14 17
 Southeast 16 14 12 15
 Southwest 8 10 7 10
 Total 100 100 100 100
 Reduction permitted with attribution to Korn/Ferry International.
 -0- 2/6/92
 /CONTACT: Stephanie Rosenfelt or Jack Richman of Korn/Ferry International, 212-687-1834/ CO: ST: IN: SU: ECO


CJ-OS -- NYFNS4 -- 7471 02/06/92 07:32 EST
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