Jewish World Review May 13, 2002 / 2 Sivan, 5762

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Consumer Reports

Survey: Summer hiring to increase -- (UPI) Twenty-seven percent of U.S. businesses plan to hire new employees in the third quarter of 2002, up from 21 percent in the second quarter, according to a survey by Manpower Inc. released Monday.

Only 8 percent of employers anticipated cutting their current workforce, compared to 10 percent in the previous quarter. More than half, 59 percent, of employers said they expect to maintain their staffing at current levels and 6 percent were uncertain.

"Overall, the hiring strength is at its most positive level in five quarters," said Jeff Joerres, chairman and chief executive officer of the Milwaukee-based employment services firm.

Last year's Employment Outlook Survey showed virtually the same hiring intentions for the summer period. Manpower Inc. has conducted the quarterly survey of 16,000 U.S. employers in 477 markets since 1976.

The unemployment rate rose 0.3 percent in April to 6 percent, the highest domestic jobless rate in nearly eight years.

By region, 29 percent of businesses expect to hire more workers in the West, 28 percent in the Midwest, 27 percent in the Northeast and 26 percent in the South.

"Hiring intentions are consistent with those we have seen in past recovery periods, with manufacturing improving the most significantly, followed closely by the services sector," Joerres said.

However, he cautioned the steady recovery trend that began in earnest in the second quarter would not push businesses back to normal hiring levels. Still, the survey indicated improved employment prospects in 8 of 10 economic sectors, with only education and mining lagging.

Fifteen percent of mining companies indicated plans to hire new workers, while 16 percent said they would trim their workforce. Mid-year hiring plans by construction companies were the same as last year with 38 percent planning to add workers from July through August and 6 percent cutting payrolls.

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