Rochester area sees fall hiring

From staff reports

Rochester area employers expect to speed up hiring this fall, a recent survey says.

The employment firm Manpower Inc., which makes a quarterly check of job markets, reports 27 percent of companies interviewed in the Rochester area plan to bring on more staff. Just 7 percent are planning to reduce work forces.

The fourth-quarter forecast is better than for the third quarter, when 17 percent of companies were hiring and 23 percent were slimming payrolls.

It also tracks favorably with local hiring intentions for the last three months of 2002, which is the most direct comparison.


"Employers forecast a similar job outlook a year ago, when 33 percent of companies surveyed thought employment increases were likely and 13 percent intended to cut back," said Jacqueline Brown, manager of Manpower's Rochester office.

Manpower found less enthusiasm for hiring in the Austin-Albert Lea area, where 13 percent of employers expected to add staff from October through December. A negligible 3 percent are looking at reductions, and most intend to hold the line.

The period from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31 includes both the traditional close of the construction season and the holiday rush in the retail industry.

Employers statewide were optimistic overall. An average 24 percent of Minnesota employers are preparing to open up jobs, with 13 percent bracing for cuts in their work forces.

The Winona market was divided for the coming months, with 27 percent of companies ready to build their workforces and 23 percent ready to cut.

Employers in the Interstate 35 corridor -- Owatonna, Northfield, Faribault and Waseca -- also were split. Thirty percent of employers there expect to bring on new workers and 20 percent expect to eliminate some jobs.

The most vigorous hiring statewide looms in the Twin Cities. About one-third of employers in the metropolitan area expect bigger employment, while 13 percent say they will shrink staff.

The least optimistic job market looms in Duluth-Superior, Wis., where only 7 percent of employers want more workers this fall and 20 percent expect staff reductions.


Manpower Inc. gauges hiring intentions each quarter through a survey of 16,000 private and public employers in 470 U.S. markets.

Nationally, 22 percent expected to raise and 11 percent to lower the numbers of workers they employ, according to Manpower.

In a written release, the employment firm said that once the numbers are adjusted for seasonal variations "The (national) survey results for this quarter mark the first increase in job prospects since the first quarter of 2003."

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