Slowly but surely, firms hiring again

Rochester mirrors national trend

From staff and news service reports

Ever so slowly, help-wanted signs are starting to replace the layoff notices.

Nurses and teachers are in short supply. Home furnishing stores are hiring, as are hotels, amusement companies and other recreation-type businesses. And temporary employment agencies are being asked to fill more jobs.

The increased business at the nation's temp firms is significant as the country begins to recover from recession. Businesses, hesitant to hire new full-time employees, turn to temporary hires.


That holds true in Rochester, said Ed Hruska, general manager of Express Personnel Services, 2518 N. Broadway.

"Businesses are currently being more cautious in their hiring. A lot of people out there are using agencies like us to help screen employees," he said. "It is improving slowly. Businesses don't want to overcommit to too large of a staff."

Jed Marquisee, the regional vice president for Adeco Staffing Services including the Rochester office, said many firms have indicated they will soon be using temporary services as the economic situation strengthens.

"We do look forward to the economy turning around here, sooner rather than later," he said.

U.S. businesses started adding jobs in February for the first time in seven months, helping push down the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent. Economists declared the yearlong recession over.

Temp firms were hit especially hard during the recession as they lost almost 500,000 jobs. Demand for workers in health care, finance and manufacturing started to pick up in February.

Job Service Area Manager Mike Yanda at the Minnesota Workforce Center in Rochester said the health care and service industries look "particularly vibrant" in the area.

"We've been somewhat insulated from the big downturn seen in some areas in the country and other areas of Minnesota," he said. "It is not completely doom and gloom."


The end of the recession and payroll increases do not mean jobseekers are in the driver's seat. Economists say companies will remain skittish about hiring back workers until a full economic recovery has appeared, possibly at year's end or next year.

That means the unemployment rate nationally still could rise before leveling off, some analysts say to 6 percent or more. Analysts are forecasting a 5.6 percent rate for March and 50,000 new jobs.

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