First Quarter 2003 Looking Good For Job Prospects

November 18, 2002 ( - The first quarter of 2003 will see more hiring than the same period last year, according to the Employment Outlook Survey released by Manpower.

The quarterly survey of 16,000 businesses found 20% plan on hiring more people in January-March 2003 than they did in the same period of 2002.   This is up from last year’s 16% expecting staffing increases.

Additionally, 12% expect a cut in their current workforce during the first quarter, down from 16% last year, while 66% expect staffs to remain at the same levels, and 6% are uncertain.

Manufacturers of nondurable goods, such as food and clothes, report 21% expecting more hires in the first quarter of 2003 with only 9% reporting planned job cuts during this period.

The prospect for jobs in this sector is especially good in the West, a region whose hiring numbers have lagged behind other areas of the country in previous quarters, according to the survey.

Other strong hiring expectations were reported in:

  • Finance, insurance and real estate – 22% plan to add staff, 8% are projecting cut backs
  • Durable goods manufacturing – 21% plan an increase, 13% a decrease
  • Transportation – 16% plan to increase, 9% to decrease

However, the survey said that companies are remaining cautious about their hiring activities, especially because of the uncertainty about the nation’s showdown with Iraq.

“All bets are off if we go to war,” said Jeffrey Joerres, Manpower’s chairman and chief executive officer.

For more information or to obtain the full report, visit Manpower’s Web site at .