U.S. employers plan to maintain a stable, yet cautious approach toward hiring in the final quarter of 2007, according to a quarterly survey of 14,000 employers by Manpower, Inc.
Of the employers surveyed, 27 percent said that they expect to increase their workforces during the fourth quarter of 2007, while 9 percent expect to trim their payrolls. Fifty-eight percent expect no change in the hiring pace, and 6 percent are undecided about their hiring plans.
"It is not unexpected that U.S. employers have conservative hiring plans for the fourth quarter," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "The market forces that impact hiring do not conclusively point toward growth or decline, and that is a likely contributor to the prudent hiring trends apparent in the survey throughout 2007."
The seasonally adjusted survey results show that in the majority of industry sectors, the hiring pace is expected to remain steady during the final months of 2007.
Employers in construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, finance/insurance/real estate, education and services foresee a hiring climate that is relatively unchanged from the third quarter forecast. Mining and transportation/public utilities employers anticipate a slight downturn in hiring pace, while employers in the public administration sector foresee improved job prospects compared to the previous quarter.
"Companies that deal with producing goods are struggling, but the service sector is doing very well," says Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America. "We can clearly see this trend in the survey results, with Services employers reporting the strongest hiring intentions for the fourth quarter, and those in the Manufacturing and Construction sectors coming in with weaker employment projections."
At the regional level, job prospects are the strongest in the West and weakest in the Northeast for the second consecutive quarter. Services employers in the West are more optimistic about hiring than they have been in more than 25 years of survey data.