December 20, 2009 – As signs of economic recovery continue to positively trend, 57 percent of CEOs interviewed for PricewaterhouseCoopers' Private Company Trendsetter Barometer survey plan to increase their total workforce expenses over the next 12 to 18 months. Concurrently, the majority of private companies surveyed (57 percent) reported being affected by reductions in their companies' workforces as a result of the economic crisis. While most employment areas were affected, there was a particular emphasis on middle management and skilled labor. In contrast, of those surveyed, 40 percent reported no layoffs or reductions as a result of strain economic conditions. “We're seeing the leading private companies looking to hire new workers or increase the compensation of existing employees, reinforcing Trendsetter Barometer data that CEOs are planning for an upturn,” said Ken Esch, partner with PricewaterhouseCoopers Private Company Services practice. “While many are simply looking to fill skills gaps or retain their qualified workforce, this is a clear signal that CEOs believe the tide is turning.” Despite workforce reductions, 61 percent of Trendsetter CEO's believe their companies' current workforce is well aligned to business objectives that must be met over the next 12-24 months.