Hiring Levels in 2008
We are busy preparing for our Year-end Holiday Party today. It’s an exciting time of year when most people are reflecting on the year past and make projections or resolutions for the upcoming one. Many of our readers are located internationally, but this post pertains mostly to the US market.A recent survey conducted by Milwaukee-based global staffing firm Manpower (MAN) found that 12% of companies expect to reduce employment in the three-month period starting in January, while 22% plan to add jobs. Fewer than a quarter of employers expect to add positions in the first quarter of the new year, almost the same as a year ago, according to this survey of 14,000 companies.The numbers show a slight drop from hiring intentions during the same quarter last year, when 23% of employers said they’d increase hiring and 11% expected a decrease. They also show more pessimism than last quarter, when 27% of employers planned to increase hiring while only 9% said they planned a decline.The numbers, overall, do not represent big changes.
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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