Job outlook: Local employers say they’re not cutting

Dayton employers will be hiring at a healthy clip in the next few months, according to a new Manpower survey.

Among employers surveyed, the staffing services company said 24 percent plan to hire more employees from April through June.

Meanwhile, no surveyed employers — zero percent — plan to cut payrolls, while most — 73 percent — expect to maintain current staff levels and three percent said they weren’t sure yet.

Tom Maher, president and chief executive of Manpower of Dayton, said that is first time he can remember the survey having zero employees responding they don’t plan cuts.

Manpower said the survey shows a “net employment outlook” of 24 percent — far higher than the first quarter of the year, when the outlook was only five percent.

Last year at this time, employers expected similar hiring activity when the outlook was 23 percent.

In the coming three months, the best job prospects appear to be in construction, durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail, information, business services, leisure and hospitality, government and more, Manpower said.

Hiring in financial activities and education and health expected to remain unchanged, the company said.

Of the more than 11,000 employers surveyed nationally, 22 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 3 percent expect a decline in their payrolls in the second quarter this year.

Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 2 percent of employers were undecided. That makes the national net employment outlook a positive 17 percent, stable compared to the outlook in the first quarter last year, when it was 16 percent.

Maher said second quarter is usually good because the area is getting into the construction season.

“Manufacturing just continues to roll, and thank God because that is certainly what our local economy is based upon, outside of defense,” Maher said.

Nationally, he sees wages as improving, which is bringing people back into the workforce. Private sector employment surged by 298,000 in February, the government said last week.

“There’s a lot of optimism overall with the economy and a new administration,” Maher said.

Unemployment was significantly lower in January in 5 states and stable in 45 states and the District of Columbia, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said Monday. Ohio’s rate of 5 percent held steady in January 2016, December 2016 and January 2017, according to bureau data released Monday.

Richard Stock, director of the University of Dayton Business Research Group, sees the foundation of last month’s job growth as part of a long-term trend.

“I think the economy is in pretty good shape,” Stock said. “I think it’s a continuation of a trend over the last couple of years.”

And Stock added that doesn’t seen any immediate threats to the economy, short of a “fiscal crisis” perhaps precipitated by Congress.

The next ManpowerGroup employment outlook survey will be released in mid-June.

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