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Hamilton Hiring index drops for third quarter

Iowa employers remain optimistic, but political and economic uncertainties are affecting their hiring decisions, according to the Hamilton Hiring Survey, which looks at employer confidence and hiring intentions in the state of Iowa each quarter.
The index dropped from 69 to 65 for the third quarter of 2012. Any number above 50 means an expanding job market for medium-sized and small businesses in Iowa.
During June, the Hamilton Group spoke with 5,000 small and medium-sized businesses to gauge the state’s job growth for the upcoming quarter of July through September.
About 56 percent of respondents said they were either somewhat or very optimistic when it comes to hiring, up slightly from 55 percent last quarter. However, government regulations, cost and uncertainties surrounding health care, and corporate and personal tax increases, as well as mandatory government spending reductions approaching next year, are all causing employers to be hesitant when it comes to hiring.
The survey found that 44 percent of respondents expect to increase total employment over the next quarter. However, the increase may not be large enough to significantly reduce Iowa’s unemployment rate.
Additionally, about 47 percent indicated there would be no change in their work forces and only 1 percent said they planned to reduce their work forces — the lowest percentage in a year.

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