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Hiring outlook good for area

By Eric Fleischauer 340-2435

For all the concerns about the national economy, Decatur-area employers plan to continue hiring in the fourth quarter — albeit at a slower pace than last quarter.

The Employment Outlook Survey by Manpower Inc., released Tuesday, indicates Decatur area employers expect to hire at a healthy pace during the fourth quarter of 2007.

From October to December, 27 percent of companies interviewed by Manpower plan to hire more employees, while 3 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, according to Manpower spokeswoman Janice Brown.

The remaining 70 percent expect to maintain current staff levels, she said.

"Hiring intentions among area employers are more modest than in the third quarter when 33 percent of the companies interviewed intended to add employees, and 3 percent planned to reduce staff levels," said Brown.

"Employer confidence about hiring is stronger as compared to one year ago," Brown said.

During the fourth quarter of 2006, 17 percent of companies surveyed planned to boost staff levels and none expected to reduce payrolls, according to the survey.

The survey indicated fourth quarter job prospects will be best in construction, non-durable goods, manufacturing, transportation/public utilities and education.

Employers in wholesale/retail trade had mixed hiring intentions. Unchanged will be hiring in durable goods manufacturing, finance-insurance-real estate, services and public administration.

Internationally, employers in seven countries are reporting their most optimistic hiring plans since the survey began: Australia, Costa Rica, Germany, India, Japan, Peru and Sweden.

Chinese employers expect a hiring slowdown in the next three months.

In the United States, results are similar to those reported in the third quarter: steady job prospects for the next three months, but slightly softer hiring expectations compared to last year at this time.

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