Area employers send out mixed message on hiring

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Aiken employers had a less volatile message for Manpower Inc. than Augusta employers that were surveyed about their hiring intentions this winter.

Most of the surveyed Aiken-area employers, 87 percent, said they were not going to change their staff levels from October to December. Ten percent are going to add workers.

The outlook survey for Augusta's fourth quarter came back with a mixed message: 33 percent plan to increase staff levels, and 27 percent plan to decrease them.

"Compared to one year ago, when 17 percent of companies surveyed planned to increase staff levels and none expected to cut payrolls, hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are weaker," said area Manpower spokeswoman Debbie Elder.

Local prospects appear to be best in construction, transportation and education, according to the staffing company. Finance, insurance and real estate are good job prospects in Aiken, but not in Augusta. Hiring in public administration is unchanged. Manpower reported that manufacturing had mixed intentions.

Nationally, 22 percent of those surveyed indicated they'd be hiring more people, and 13 percent were going to cut back. The results are based on interviews with more than 14,000 public and private employers in 460 markets nationwide.

"The continuing softness in hiring activity comes as no surprise as weakening market conditions are causing many companies to carefully adjust their hiring in line with the demand for their product or service," Manpower Chairman Jeffrey Joerres said.

Manpower, based in Milwaukee, has a network of 4,400 offices in 73 countries and territories and annually serves 400,000 clients.

Reach Tim Rausch at (706) 823-3352 or timothy.rausch@augustachronicle.com.

EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOK SURVEY

The percentage of employers who plan to change or maintain the size of their work force from October to December:

Area Increase No change Decrease Don't know
Augusta 33 40 27 0
Aiken 10 87 3 0
Atlanta 20 57 20 3
Columbia 40 60 0 0
Georgia 23 61 12 4
South Carolina 22 66 9 3

Source: Manpower Inc.

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