U.S. employers expect to strengthen their hiring activity in the fourth quarter
of 2003, according to a quarterly survey by Manpower Inc.
Of the 16,000 U.S. employers that the firm surveyed, 22 percent said
they plan to increase hiring activity for the October - December period, while
11 percent expect a decrease in employment opportunities. Another 62 percent
of employers foresee no change in hiring, and 5 percent are uncertain of their
staffing plans. When the seasonal variations are removed from the data, the
survey results for this quarter mark the first increase in job prospects since
the first quarter of 2003.
"The improvement in hiring expectations for the fourth quarter marks a
reversal of the downward trend we have seen in the U.S. survey data since the
beginning of the year," says Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman & CEO of
Manpower. "Although the survey results are somewhat weaker than the fourth
quarter of 2002, employers report a consistent level of job growth across the
majority of industry sectors and all four regions of the U.S."
Employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West regions report equal hiring forecasts
for the final three months of the year. The South has the most promising employment
outlook again this quarter and has since the third quarter 2002.