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December 13, 2004

Manpower survey shows New York employers among the least optimistic about first-quarter hiring

New York State employers are among the nation’s least optimistic about the likelihood of hiring in the first quarter of 2005, a new nationwide survey from Manpower Inc. shows.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which is conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc., found that about a quarter of U.S. employers, 24 percent, plan an increase in hiring activity, a company release said. Another 10 percent expect to decrease staff levels, for a nationwide net of 14 percent. Nearly six of 10 employers, 59 percent, said they expect no change in hiring activity, Manpower said.

Using the same “net” figure to evaluate individual states’ optimism about the likelihood of hiring, New York State ranks only 32nd in the nation, tied with four other states with a net of 9 percent.

That 9 percent net is based on survey results showing only 18 percent of New York employers planning to step up hiring activity with 9 percent planning to decrease hiring. Another 64 percent said they expect no change.

The survey suggested that the state with the employers who are most optimistic about hiring early next year is Delaware, where 40 percent said they expected to increase hiring and 0 percent said they expected to decrease hiring.

In three states—Utah, Alaska, and Nebraska—the hiring projections are so glum that the net is a negative number. Nebraska, by this measure, has the nation’s least optimistic employers, with a net of -15. In that state, only 7 percent of employers expecting to hire and fully 22 percent expect to decrease staffing.

Of New York’s immediate neighbors, only Connecticut (a net of 2 percent) and New Jersey (4 percent) seem less optimistic about likely first-quarter hiring trends.

Employers in Ohio (a net of 12 percent), Pennsylvania, (17 percent), California (22 percent), and Massachusetts (27 percent) all expect more favorable hiring patterns than New York does, the survey showed.

Manpower said the nationwide picture is one of strong hiring activity.

“What a difference a year makes. The job picture moving into 2005 is decidedly more upbeat than it was at the start of 2004,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc.

Manpower, a world leader in the employment services industry, conducts the survey quarterly. The survey has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with more than 35,000 public and private employers worldwide.