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Employers anticipate overall staffing gains


U.S. employers anticipate making small staffing increases in the first quarter of 2011, according to a survey done by Manpower Inc., the world’s second-largest provider of temporary workers.

The group’s employment gauge for the first quarter rose to 9 percent after a reading of 5 percent in the current quarter.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 14 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their hiring plans for the first quarter, while 10 percent expect a decrease in payrolls. This results in a net employment increase of 4 percent, which becomes 9 percent when seasonally adjusted. The majority of employers, 73 percent, expect no change in hiring plans.

“The fact that hiring expectations are trending upward is an encouraging sign,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas, in a press release. “This quarter’s survey responses paint a picture of a job market that is easing up, although not as quickly as anyone would like.”

Employers in 11 of the 13 industry sectors surveyed had a positive outlook, with construction expected to drop 9 percent and government expected to be even. Compared with a year ago, employers in all four geographical regions surveyed anticipate an increase in the pace of hiring.

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