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Second Quarter Hiring: Modest In Detroit, Strong In West Michigan

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MILWAUKEE — Employers in the Detroit area expect to hire at a modest pace in the second quarter starting April 1, according to the quarterly Employment Outlook Survey from the Milwaukee-based temporary help firm Manpower Inc.

In fact, among metro areas around the country, hiring plans in the Detroit-Warren-Livonia Metropolitan Statistical Area are the second weakest in the nation. (The MSA includes the six counties of Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Oakland, St. Clair, and Wayne.)

From April to June, 10 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 5 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 78 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 5 percent.

“Hiring activity is expected to slow down during the second quarter of 2013 compared to the first quarter of 2013 when the Net Employment Outlook was 11 percent,” said Manpower spokesperson Shane Weaver. “Employers also expect cloudier employment prospects compared with one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 10 percent.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in construction, non-durable goods manufacturing, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, and other services.

Employers in durable goods manufacturing and transportation and utilities plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in wholesale and retail trade, leisure and hospitality, and government is expected to remain unchanged.

In Grand Rapids the numbers are significantly more robust. In the Grand Rapids-Wyoming Metropolitan Statistical Area, which includes Barry, Ionia, Kent, and Newaygo counties, 21 percent of companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while just 4 percent plan to cut staff. Another 73 percent anticipate no changes in staffing, while 2 percent are not certain. This yields a net employment outlook of 17 percent.

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

The Grand Rapids data made statewide hiring plans significantly stronger. In the statewide survey, 17 percent of companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while just 4 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 75 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 4 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of 13 percent.

That’s higher than the first quarter, when the outlook was 11 percent, and unchanged from the year-ago level.

Statewide job prospects appear best in construction, durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, leisure and hospitality and other services. Employers in government plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in transportation and utilities  is expected to remain unchanged.

Nationally, of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 18 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 5 percent expect a decline in their payrolls during the second quarter. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 4 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring plans. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is 11 percent, down slightly from the first quarter outlook of 12 percent.

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