MILWAUKEE – Employers are predicting another stable quarter of hiring, with 27 percent of companies expecting to add positions in the last three months of the year, according to a survey of 14,000 companies being released Tuesday.
Nine percent of companies said they expect to reduce employment, according to the survey by Milwaukee-based global staffing firm Manpower Inc.
The numbers are on par with hiring intentions from the same quarter last year, when 28 percent of employers predicted they'd increase hiring and 8 percent expected a decrease.
The numbers also show employers are holding off on making any big moves amid the ups and downs on Wall Street and a sagging housing market, said Jonas Prising, president of Manpower North America. Given the uncertainty about the economy, stable hiring is good news, he said.
In the latest report, the majority of employers — 58 percent — expected no change in hiring between October and December, while 6 percent of companies were unsure of their plans.
For the July-September quarter, 29 percent of employers said they planned to increase hiring and 7 percent said they planned a decline.
The latest survey continues a 15-quarter stretch of fairly strong hiring intentions, in which more than 20 percent of companies surveyed said they plan to add to their staffs.
The quarterly survey, which has been conducted since 1962, shows little change from the last quarter is expected in a majority of job categories, including construction, finance, retail, education and services.
Twenty-three percent of employers in the public administration sector expected to increase hiring, while 9 percent expected a decrease. That's up from the same quarter last year, when 19 percent of employers in the sector said they would increase hiring and 11 percent predicted a decrease.
In the services sector, which includes health care, 27 percent of employers predicted an increase in hiring, while 8 percent expected a decrease. During the same quarter last year, 26 percent said they would increase hiring, and 7 percent said they would decrease.
Mining and transportation companies and public utilities expect a slight downturn. Twenty-three percent of mining companies said they would increase hiring, and 3 percent would decrease. Last year, 31 percent of mining companies predicted a hiring upswing, and 8 percent a drop.
For transportation and public utilities, 22 percent of employers said they would increase hiring and 7 percent would decrease. That's down from last year, when 27 percent of employers said they would add jobs, while 6 percent expected to cut them.
Prising said these shifts are not considered very significant. Jobs are still being created, he said, job seekers may just have to put forth a bit more effort to find one.
"It may be slower than what it was before, but it's not falling off a cliff," he said.
Job growth by region was stable, with minimal variation from quarter-to-quarter and year-to-year.
The West continues to outpace other regions, with 33 percent of employers saying they planned to increase hiring, up from 31 percent last quarter. Ten percent of employers said they planned to decrease hiring, up from 8 percent last quarter.
The South was stable with 26 percent of employers expecting to increase hiring next quarter, the same as last. Eight percent expected to decrease hiring, up from 7 percent last quarter.
Hiring in the Midwest dropped slightly, with 26 percent of companies reporting they will increase hiring in the fourth quarter, down from 27 percent during the previous one. Nine percent of companies were planning a decline, up from 7 percent last quarter.
The Northeast also saw a dip, with one-fourth of companies saying they planned to increase staff, down from 27 percent last quarter. Ten percent of employers in that region said they planned a decrease, up from 8 percent last quarter.