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Nearly One in Three U.S. Companies
Expect to Add More Workers, Survey Says

Associated Press
NEW YORK — Nearly one-third of American companies expect to hire more workers this spring, the strongest demand in more than two decades, according to a new survey of second-quarter hiring plans.

The survey being released today by the temporary staffing agency Manpower Inc. indicated especially strong demand for workers in financial services and in manufacturing durable goods.

"The personnel shortage continues to plague companies in all industries and geographic regions," said Jeffrey Joerres, president and chief executive of Milwaukee-based Manpower. This, he said, presents "opportunities to many more workers."

The report, based on a survey of 16,000 businesses nationwide, showed that 32 percent will need additional staff in the second quarter, while 6 percent plan cutbacks. Some 58 percent expected their work forces to be unchanged, and 4 percent were uncertain.

Those were the strongest figures since the third quarter of 1978, Manpower said.

A year ago, 29 percent said they would hire staff, while 6 percent predicted cuts, 61 percent expected no change and 4 percent were uncertain.

Expected hiring in durable goods industries, which produce cars, appliances and other long-lasting products, totaled 38 percent of those surveyed, matching the previous record achieved in the second quarter of 1998, Manpower said. It said that 28 percent of finance, insurance and real estate businesses said they expected to hire more workers in the April-June period.

Regionally, the strongest demand for workers was in the West, where 35 percent of companies surveyed said they expected to be hiring in the second quarter, while 6 percent said they would reduce employment. Fifty-four percent said they expected no change, and 5 percent were uncertain.

Manpower has conducted quarterly employment surveys for 24 years. The margin of error in the telephone survey, which includes companies in 485 cities, is plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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