Job seekers face ‘mild’ and ‘unsteady’ prospects in Triangle

Third quarter employment survey from Manpower shows some firms are planning to hire but similar numbers anticipate making layoffs. Nationwide, Manpower says work force picture is ‘sluggish.’

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RALEIGH, N.C. — People out of work face uncertain prospects for finding a new job in the Triangle area, Manpower reports in its latest employment survey.

“Mild” and “unsteady” is how Manpower describes the third quarter job forecast.

In Raleigh-Cary, the jobless rate dipped to 8.3 percent in April from 8.7 percent in March. The Durham-Chapel Hill rate fell to 7.3 percent in April from 7.6 percent. May jobless figures will be disclosed June 26.

Manpower labels the Raleigh-Cary hiring outlook for the third quarter as “mild.” In Raleigh-Cary, some 15 percent of firms surveyed by the employment services company say they plan to hire more workers.

However, 14 percent plan to cut staff. Some 65 percent of companies plan to preserve current payrolls. The remaining 6 percent are unsure.

The survey is little changed from the second quarter survey, noted Manpower’s Michael Doyle.

“The hiring activity is expected to be slightly stronger than the previous quarter when 14 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 15 percent expected to cut payrolls,” Doyle said in a statement.

According to Manpower, best job prospects are in:

  • Nondurable goods manufacturing
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Professional and business services
  • Leisure and hospitality

In Durham, hiring will be at an “unsteady pace,” Manpower reported. Some 12 percent of firms plan to add workers; however, 16 percent are looking to cut jobs.

While 3 percent are not certain about work force needs, 69 percent of the firms surveyed plan to maintain payroll size.

“The hiring activity is expected to be consistent to the previous quarter when 10 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and 14 percent expected to cut payrolls,” Doyle said.

Best chances for getting hired are in:

  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Education and health services
  • Leisure and hospitality

The Triangle forecast reflects the national survey with 15 percent of employers planning to add staff but 13 percent looking to cut. Manpower described the employment outlook as “sluggish.”

“The data shows continued hesitancy among employers,” said Jonas Prising, president of the Americas at Manpower. “They are treading slowly and watching with guarded optimism, hoping a few quarters of stability will be the precursor to the recovery.”

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