The job outlook is the best in more than a year with employment expected to surge in the wholesale-retail trade, construction industry and durable goods sector, the nation's largest temporary help service reported Monday.
Manpower, Inc., in its quarterly survey of 5,000 U.S. businessmen, said the percentage of employers projecting employment gains for the April-June period was the biggest since early 1976 and more than twice as large as the number in the first quarter of this year.
Mitchell S. Fromstein, president of Manpower, said: "The survey shows hiring intentions for the second quarter have snapped back more significantly than the normal seasonal pattern in the largest sector of the U.S. economy, the wholesale-retail trade, which provides more than 20 per cent of the nation's jobs."
The construction and durable goods industries, which account for roughly 14 per cent of the nation's jobs, also are expected to step up hiring substantially, he said.
"Fundamentally, the new outlook reflects an expected rising trend in consumer sales and the expected impact of a federal tax rebate," Fromstein said. "In construction and the sectors that are related to it, such as finance, real estate and some manufacturing industries, it is a reaction to the strong pace in residential building and remodeling and to a revival in commercial construction."
In the second quarter, 33 per cent of the employers surveyed anticipate enlarging their payrolls, compared with 24 per cent of the same sample interviewed for Manpower's first quarter job outlook. Only 6 per cent of the businessmen, projected a decline in employment, down susbtantially from the 13 per cent expecting to cut back their work force in the first quarter.
Fifty-seven per cent of the employers plan to hold the line on current employment levels, the survey showed.
The south had the highest percentage of optimistic employers, with 37 per cent expecting to increase employment in the second quarter and only 4 per cent intending to reduce staff. "In all ten business categories of the region, projections for employment are higher for the upcoming quarter than for each of the past two quarter," Manpower said.
On a nationwide basis, 35 per cent of the durable goods manufacturers second quarter, with the improved outlook apparently concentrated in consumer goods such as cars and appliances rather than heavy machinery.
Fifty-four per cent in the construction industry and 31 per cent in the wholesale-retail sector plan to add workers.
Fromstein pointed out services, which have provided the most new strongest geographical market, may be levelling off in terms of employment growth. In the last three Manpower quarterly surveys, a consistent 30 per cent of employers in this area have forecast job expansion.
"The uncertainty and negativism expressed in the first three months of this year seem to be resolved as the businesses surveyed now express a very optimistic employment hiring outlook," said Fromstein.