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Terre Haute job market looking bad

Monday, January 19, 2004

Terre Haute area employers expect to hire at a dismal pace during the first quarter of 2004, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Among survey participants, the outlook in Terre Haute is among the ten worst in the nation.

From January to March, 3% of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 33 percent intend to reduce their workforce, according to Manpower spokesperson Lori Leo. Another 61 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans.

"Terre Haute area employers reported more optimistic hiring plans for the fourth quarter when 27 percent of the companies interviewed predicted an increase in hiring activity, while 10 percent planned to decrease the hiring pace," said Leo. "A year ago at this time, employers anticipated a disappointing hiring pace when 10 percent of companies surveyed thought employment increases were likely and 20 percent intended to cut back."

For the coming quarter, employers in Wholesale/Retail Trade and Services plan to reduce staffing levels, while those in Durable Goods Manufacturing have mixed hiring intentions. Hiring in other sectors is expected to remain unchanged.

The national results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey reveal that U.S. employers continue to show optimism in their hiring forecast for the first quarter of 2004.

For the first time in five years, employers expressed an increase in hiring expectations from the fourth quarter to the first quarter.

Of the 16,000 U.S. employers that were polled, 20% said they plan to boost employment levels for the first three months of 2004, while 13% anticipate a slower hiring pace. Sixty-two percent of employers expect to offer the same number of jobs as last quarter, and 6% are unsure of their first quarter employment activity. When the seasonal variations are removed from the survey results, the data reveals that the hiring forecast from January to March is more positive than it was last quarter and relatively consistent with the outlook a year ago.

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