Following 13 consecutive quarters of increases in employment, a slowdown in hiring is anticipated by employers nationwide and locally during the next three months, according to survey findings by Manpower Inc.
The quarterly figures, issued by the firm which hires employees for temporary services, indicates hiring intentions by 6,000 employers who were polled nationwide.
In the Washington metropolitan area, where current employment levels are stable, 30 percent of the companies polled plan to increase employment compared with 44 percent a year ago, while 3 percent expect a hiring cutback and 62 percent expect no change in their employment outlook.
Employers in the District and Virginia showed the most optimism, with 42 percent expecting additions to their payrolls, and 58 percent holding to current levels.
Maryland, however, only 22 percent of the firms plan an increase, with 66 percent expecting no increase and 4 percent anticipating a decline in hiring.
Prince George's County projected the strongest employment gains in Maryland with 25 percent of the employers anticipating a gain and 63 percent forecasting no change.
Montgomery County employers expected few changes in hiring with 70 percent expecting to maintain current levels.
Among the smorgasboard of employment sectors, Maryland services employers indicated the strongest expected increased followed by slight hiring increases in durable goods manufacturing, education and finance. The worst outlook was cited by construction firms.
Not surprisingly, area wholesale and retail merchants showed the highest amount of uncertainty. And local union representatives echoed great caution.
The local outlook generally is stronger than the overall national forecast which follows more than 3 years of increased employment. In the past two years, more than 6 million workers were added to U.S. payrolls.
Nationally, 29 percent of employers plan to increase employment, down from 34 percent a year ago, 7 percent expected a decline and 61 percent anticipate no change in hiring, up from 57 percent a year ago.
The Manpower survey indicated that the anticipated slowdown is an across-the-board reduction in all regions of the country.