Twenty-three percent of employers anticipate an increase in hiring activity
for the first quarter of 2006, while 10 percent expect to decrease staff levels,
according to a quaterly survey of 16,000 employers by Manpower, Inc.
The survey found that 61 percent of employers surveyed foresee no change in
hiring plans, while 6 percent are unsure of their staffing needs. The firm says
that the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for the first three months
of the year is 20 percent, identical to the fourth quarter of 2005 and nearly
the same as a year ago.
"U.S. businesses are not aggressively seeking to increase staff levels
as they enter the new year," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman & CEO
of Manpower Inc. "Instead, they are looking back over the past several
quarters and are concluding that hiring is still on target with their operational
Employers in six out of 10 industry sectors surveyed foresee minimal changes
in hiring activity as they move from the fourth quarter into the new year, including
Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Finance/Insurance/Real
Estate, Education and Public Administration.
Conversely, the hiring pace is likely to soften from the fourth quarter in
the Transportation/Public Utilities and Services sectors, accoridng to the survey.
A more visible slowdown is expected in the Mining sector, where hiring managers
report a moderate slide in employment plans.
Among the U.S. regions, stronger hiring patterns are in store for the South
and the West when compared with the fourth quarter outlook. Little change is
anticipated in the Midwest, while employers in the Northeast foresee a noticeable
chill in hiring.