Jobs may be easier to find this fall

By Bob Freund

Job seekers might find good hunting this autumn in Rochester, but much less opportunity in the Austin-Albert Lea area.

One-third of Rochester area employers expect to be hiring from October to December, Manpower Inc. said today. In the Austin-Albert Lea area, only 13 percent of employers said they would be taking on more staff.

Prospects in the Rochester area were better than the hiring average of 23 percent statewide, the temporary help firm said in its latest quarterly survey of employers.


The latest Rochester figures are better than those from a year ago, when 21 percent of businesses were adding workers. At the same time, prospects in the Austin-Albert Lea area appear much dimmer than for fall 2001, when one-third of personnel departments expected to hire.

Manpower does not check on the actual performance of firms in expanding or contracting their work forces.

There was one caution in the latest Rochester figures. About 13 percent of employers said they would be cutting payrolls this fall. Ten percent of Austin-Albert Lea companies or agencies contacted planned to reduce staff.

The Rochester figures were the most optimistic among Minnesota cities tracked by Manpower.

In southeastern Minnesota, 23 percent of Winona firms, 20 percent in Mankato and 30 percent on the Interstate 35 corridor -- Owatonna, Waseca, Northfield, Faribault -- had hiring plans for the fall.

In the Minneapolis job market, 30 percent of employers said they would expand their work forces, as did 10 percent in St. Paul.

Twenty-two percent of executives in a Wisconsin market, La Crosse-Tomah, have hiring plans, Manpower said.

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