When the economy’s economy slows, we should all take stock

By MATTHEW SCHULMAN, Associated Press SAN JOSE, Calif.

— As the economic downturn hits the U.S., some of the nation’s biggest companies and some of its biggest corporations are taking steps to improve their profitability, as they try to balance the need for growth and profitability with the need to keep their employees healthy and on track.

A survey by the Associated Press found that more than half of Fortune 500 companies plan to raise pay for their employees by the end of next year.

Many of the CEOs said they have no plans to raise their pay for any of their employees.

Others said they had recently decided to cut pay for some of their workers, but that they were working through the changes and are making it up with increases in other pay.

The AP surveyed CEOs of more than 400 U.N. agencies, hospitals, universities and other businesses about the outlook for the economy, how they plan to spend money and whether they would take steps to reduce their employee costs.

The survey found that while many CEOs are focused on improving their business models and profits, many said they would be more willing to invest in technology, infrastructure or other projects if they believe they will see some positive impact in the next 12 months.

Among the top performers in the survey were companies that have already seen positive results in the downturn, such as Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google, which have posted strong sales, and companies that are looking to expand their reach beyond their core business, such the retail giants Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (WMT) and Target Corp. (TGT).

The AP poll surveyed more than 1,300 CEOs, executives and other senior executives from Fortune 500 and larger companies that report quarterly financial results, which include profits and revenue.

The companies included in the poll, which is considered the most accurate estimate of CEO compensation, are not part of the AP’s annual list of Fortune 100 companies.

The majority of the companies have also said they are making some changes to their employee compensation plans.

The executives were surveyed by a representative from a third-party compensation research firm, but the company said the executives could not be reached for comment.

CEOs were also asked about their plans for the next year, whether they plan for an increase in payroll taxes or other taxes and whether their company is taking any other steps to control costs.

Companies that are not listed in the AP poll did not report any changes in their pay, but some of them have announced their plans.

For example, Amazon.