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U.S. employers cautiously optimistic

March 12, 2013 at 7:50 AM   |   Comments

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MILWAUKEE, March 12 (UPI) -- Hiring intentions in the United States will continue to show a cautiously optimistic approach in the second quarter of 2013, a survey released Tuesday said.

Employers in every state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia indicate "positive hiring plans," for the second quarter, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey said.

North Dakota continues as the United States' leader in hiring intentions with the index for the state rising from 21 percent to 30 percent, indicating "a significant increase in job prospects," Manpower said in a release.

Manpower said the percentage of employers who indicated staff reductions were planned dropped to 5 percent, the smallest percentage for headcount reductions since the third quarter of 2000.

The bulk of employers, 73 percent, indicated they planned to keep the size of their payrolls unchanged in the second quarter, which is the highest percentage of employers indicating stability was in order since the first quarter of 2011.

On the positive side, construction firms "anticipate ... a considerable increase in hiring" for the second quarter, Manpower said.

Hiring intentions rose in the Northeast, Midwest and West, with a 5 percent increase in the Midwest and a 4 percent increase in the West.

Manpower said 18,000 employers responded to the survey with 18 percent indicating an intention to expand payrolls in the second quarter and 5 percent indicating a reduction was planned. That results in a Net Employment Outlook of plus 13 percent, which drops to 11 percent when accounting for seasonal adjustments.

The final group, 4 percent, was undecided, the survey said.

Manpower said all 13 industries in the breakdown had positive outlooks for the second quarter. Employers in leisure and hospitality indicated a plus 24 percent outlook, the highest of all the business groups. Professional and business services were at plus 18 percent, followed by wholesale and retail trades, which was up 15 percent.

Mining, non-durable goods manufacturing and transportation and utilities all had outlooks of plus 14 percent.

Manpower said the survey results, it can be said with 90 percent certainty, include a margin of error of 0.61 of a percentage point.

© 2013 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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