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March 10, 2009
Employers Forecast Much Slower Hiring Pace

Employers in the United States are projecting a considerably slower hiring pace for the second quarter of 2009, according to a quarterly survey of 31,000 employers by Manpower, Inc.

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The survey found that 15 percent of employers anticipate an increase in their staff levels during the second quarter, compared with 14 percent that expect a decrease in their payrolls. Sixty-seven percent of employers surveyed expect no change in their hiring plans.

"We know that companies are having great difficulty forecasting consumer demand right now and that's a key impediment to hiring," said Jonas Prising of Manpower. "It's like trying to make out the image in a stained glass window with no light behind it--it's tough--so employers anticipate running lean until there's more light."

Employers in a majority of the industry sectors surveyed anticipate decreasing their payrolls compared to three months ago. Employers in mining, durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, wholesale & retail trade, information, financial activities, professional & business services, education & health services, and government anticipate a decline in hiring, while transportation & utilities employers plan to keep hiring levels relatively stable for the second quarter.

Each of the four U.S. regions surveyed expects weaker employment outlooks compared to last quarter and last year, according to the seasonally adjusted data.

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