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
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
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.