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Manpower: Hiring To Be Modest In Detroit, GR

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MILWAUKEE — Employers in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area plan to hire at a slow pace in the first quarter of 2012, according to the quarterly Employment Outlook Survey from the temporary staffing firm Manpower Inc.

And the job outlook in the Grand Rapids area of West Michigan is among the weakest in the nation, Manpower says.

In the Detroit area, from January to March, 13 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 11 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 69 percent expect to maintain their current workforce levels and 7 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of a positive 2 percent.

That’s equal to the statewide net Employment Outlook.

“Hiring activity is expected to slightly decrease during the first quarter of 2012 compared to Quarter 4 2011 when the Net Employment Outlook was 3 percent,” said Manpower spokesman Eric Jones. “Employers expect slightly weaker employment prospects compared with one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 5 percent.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, and professional and business services. Employers in education, health services and government plan to cut staff, while the outlook is unchanged for construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, leisure and hospitality, and other services.

The national Net Employment Outlook is plus 9 percent, up slightly from the fourth quarter, when it was plus 7 percent.

In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming MSA, the employment outlook is one of the weakest in the nation. From January to March, 14 percent of companies plan to hire more employees, while 13 percent plan to cut staff. Another 68 percent plan no changes and 5 percent aren’t sure, yielding a Net Employment Outlook of plus 1 percent.

“Hiring activity is expected to significantly decrease during the first quarter of 2012 compared to Quarter 4 2011 when the Net Employment Outlook was 11 percent,” said Manpower spokeswoman Jill Momber. “Employers expect stable employment prospects compared with one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 2 percent.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trades, and information. Employers plan cuts in the construction, transportation and utilities, education and health services, leisure and hospitality, and government sectors, while hiring in financial activities, professional and business services, and other services is expected to remain unchanged.

More than 18,000 employers nationwide are contacted for the survey.

The strongest job markets in the nation, those with Net Employment Outlook above 10 percent, are Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla. and Lakeland-Winter Haven, Fla., both plus 17 percent; Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa, Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown, Texas, and Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz., plus 14 percent; Honolulu, Hawaii, plus 13 percent; Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, Ga., Baton Rouge, La., Bradenton-Sarasota-Venice, Fla, Indianapolis-Carmel, Ind, Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. and Wichita, Kan., plus 12 percent; and Boston-Cambridge-Quincy, Mass., Columbus, Ohio, Madison, Wis, Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tenn., Tulsa, Okla. and Worcester, Mass., all plus 11 percent.

The weakest job markets in the nation, those with negative Net Employment Outlooks, are Dayton, Ohio, Fresno, Calif. and Spokane, Wash., all minus 4 percent; Reno-Sparks, Nev. and Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Wash., all minus 3 percent; and Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Ark., Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, Maine, Providence-New Bedford-Fall River, R.I., Raleigh-Cary, N.C., San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont, Calif. and Springfield, Mass., all minus 2 percent.

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