As the nation hurtles toward the fiscal cliff, employers may further postpone major hiring decisions until there is more clarity on the country’s economic future, according to workplace authority John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc. “Uncertainty alone is not the driving factor behind delayed hiring. Hiring is driven primarily by demand and, right now, demand is in fact being negatively impacted by uncertainty. Businesses are holding off on upgrading equipment and technology. Government spending has ground to a halt. Consumers are also holding off on big purchases; not because they are thinking about the looming fiscal cliff, but because they still cannot obtain the credit necessary to fund large purchases.” Even if lawmakers reach a compromise and address the fiscal cliff, there remain several obstacles to economic recovery, including the ongoing financial crisis in Europe and an economic slowdown in Asia. What other factors are contributing to the slow pace of hiring? What has to change for employers to accelerate hiring? Which industries are most likely to see a hiring surge in 2013?