Hiring Levels in 2008
Construction companies expect one of the larger drops, with 23% of employers saying they expect to curtail hiring, compared with 16% in the same quarter last year. Seventeen percent of employers in this sector say they expect to increase hiring, down slightly from 18% last year.
Wholesale and retail saw a slight drop, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 23% last year. Eighteen percent plan a decrease, up from 17% last year.
In the finances and real estate sector, plans to increase hiring remained steady at 21%. But the number of companies in the sector that planned to hire less than last year grew to 9% from 7%.
Hiring levels are also projected to vary regionally.
Nineteen percent of companies in the Midwest reported they would increase hiring in the first quarter, down from 26% during the previous one. Thirteen percent of companies were planning a decline, up from 9% last quarter.
The West continues to have the best outlook, with 29% of employers saying they planned to increase hiring, down from 33% last quarter. Eleven percent of employers said they planned to decrease hiring, up from 10% last quarter.
The South dipped slightly, with 23% of employers expecting to increase hiring next quarter, down from 26% last quarter. Eleven percent expected to decrease hiring, up from 8% last quarter.
The Northeast also saw a dip, with 21% of companies saying they planned to increase staff, down from 25% last quarter. Thirteen percent of employers in that region said they planned a decrease, up from 10% last quarter.
The survey doesn’t ask why employers choose to increase, decrease or maintain their staffing levels. The mortgage crisis or possibility of a recession could be reasons, but the survey can’t say for sure.
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