Some local jobs gains expected

December 9, 2008
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Grand Rapids-Wyoming area employers expect to hire at a cautiously optimistic pace during the first quarter of 2009, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

“From January to March, 15 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 13 percent expect to reduce their payrolls,” Manpower spokesperson Jill Momber said in a news release. “Another 65 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 6 percent are not certain of their hiring plans.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Durable and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Financial Activities, Leisure & Hospitality and Government. Employers in Construction, Transportation & Utilities, Information and Education & Health Services plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in Professional & Business Services and Other Services is expected to remain unchanged.

Effective with the 2009 first quarter results, adjustments have been made in the 46-year-old Manpower Employment Outlook Survey’s methodology to make the survey more representative of the U.S. economy and inclusive of new and emerging industries. These adjustments include a move to Metropolitan Statistical Areas for geographic reporting boundaries and to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Supersectors for the industry breakdowns. Because of these revisions, direct comparisons cannot be made between 2009 first quarter local data and previous local survey results. Data may not total 100 percent due to rounding.

Of the 31,800 employers surveyed in the U.S., 16 percent expect to increase their staff levels during the January-March period, while 13 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 3 percent. Sixty-seven percent expect no change in hiring and 5 percent are undecided about their 2009 first quarter hiring plans. The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on March 10, 2009 to report hiring expectations the second quarter of 2009.

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