Employers Plan to Increase Staff Levels in First Quarter, Says Manpower Survey

<p><strong>Milwaukee &mdash; Jan. 5</strong><br /><br />U.S. employers anticipate a moderate increase in their hiring plans for Quarter 1 2010, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.<br /><br />"There is still a lot of ground to make up in the labor market, but the overall increase in hiring intentions is clearly a positive," said Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres. "The first quarter is a seasonally slow hiring quarter. To see an increase over the fourth quarter is unusual and seems to indicate increased confidence levels from employers."<br /><br />Of the more than 28,000 employers surveyed, 12 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 1 2010 hiring plans, while 12 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of zero percent. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +6 percent. Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans, the highest in the survey&rsquo;s history. The final 3 percent of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.<br /><br />&ldquo;The data points to encouraging news. A record number of employers plan to keep staff levels stable, which is good for the employed, and an overall positive outlook means expanding opportunities for job seekers,&rdquo; said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. &ldquo;Employer uncertainty around hiring is shifting from whether to consider adding staff, to when &mdash; and at what rate &mdash; to make the investment.&rdquo;<br /><br />The national survey data shows employers in Mining, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Information and Government expect hiring to moderately increase in Quarter 1 2010, while slight increases are expected among employers in Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality and Other Services. Employers in two industry sectors, Construction and Wholesale & Retail Trade, anticipate a slight decrease in hiring levels. Financial Activities employers intend to maintain relatively stable staff levels.<br /><br />When compared to a year ago, employers in the West are the most confident, but all of the survey regions have weaker year-over-year employment outlooks. Using the seasonally adjusted data, all regions anticipate moderate quarter-over-quarter increases in staff levels, with employer confidence highest in the South and Midwest. </p>

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