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Employment Recovery on the Horizon?

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jun 10, 2009 4:40PM

Photo by lo go
According to a survey of local employers conducted by temporary employment service Manpower Inc, 14 percent said that they expect to add more workers during the third quarter of this year, from July through September. That's an increase from the 10 percent that employers said they expected to hire in the second quarter, from April through June. Furthermore, fewer employers said that they expected to cut their workforce in the third quarter, suggesting that the recent declines in the labor market may be slowing. The survey also showed that 12 percent of employers polled expect to reduce payrolls, compared with 14 percent who said they were cutting jobs in the prior quarter. 71 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels. The construction, financial services, professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality services sectors showed the best prospects for growth, while durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, and wholesale and retail reported plans to cut jobs.

Those numbers may bode well for Chicago, with its diverse economy, but for Peoria, which relies more heavily on manufacturing for employment, no news may be good news. "Basically the overall survey is the same as it was last time. Does that translate into jobs gains? No, it doesn't. But the fact employment in durable goods manufacturing - the goods we make here and export - is expected to stay the same is good news at this point," Manpower spokesperson Doug Orear, head of Manpower's Peoria office told the Peoria Journal Star.

Further downstate, 19 percent of Springfield-area employers surveyed plan to hire staff, while only eight percent plan to cut employment. Overall 68 percent plan no change to current staffing levels. Around Rockford, 16 percent plan to hire more employees, compared to 12 percent which expect to cut their payrolls. Likewise, 68 percent expect no change in their current staffing levels. Those numbers followed federal jobs numbers that showed the national unemployment rate above nine percent, the highest since the early 1980's. Conversely job cuts last month stayed under 400,000, the lowest since September, making May the fourth month in a row that layoffs had slowed.