Home Depot CEO: Stunningly Clueless Regarding Employment

On CNBC just now, Maria Bartiroma is interviewing Home Depot Chairman & CEO Robert Nardelli, who states that we have "a very good employment picture."

I rarely write stuff like this, but:  That reflects a lack of grasp of the reality of what is happening in the labor market economy — at least when it comes to employment and wages; Frighteningly, stunningly, shockingly incorrect.

Perhaps his view is skewed by his perspective as Chairman/CEO; He owns at least 2.4 million shares, and recently sold a block of about $5m (125,000 shares).

Or, maybe there is a shortage of quality people willing to work at Home Depot — its a tough job, encompassing customer service, retail sales, expertise in your given area (plumbing, painting, etc.) They have had a terrific number of quarters — but from HD having a hard time hiring (a guess on my part) to the extrapolation that we have a "very good employment picture" is simply not supported by the macro data.

I like Home Depot, and shop there regularly; Its just that I am amazed when I hear stuff like that out of a major corporate CEO . . . he should fire his writers.

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UPDATE: February 27, 2006 4:58pm

Jeff Matthews is far less sanguine than I about Home Depot’s CEO.

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Disclosure: I have no position in HD or LOW

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