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Jobs outlook for summer to heat up: survey

summer jobs

New college graduates looking to land their first position in the workforce will enter a labor market that continues to post modest, incremental improvements, with the portion of U.S. employers reporting plans to increase hiring in the third quarter up by 8 percent, according to a new survey from ManpowerGroup.

The 8 percent upswing holds to Manpower's projection for hiring increases throughout 2011, and marks an increase of two percentage points over the third quarter in 2010, indicating what the firm describes as "positive yet careful hiring intentions." The net increase is the largest Manpower has tallied since the fourth quarter of 2008.

"Although employers are not signaling dramatic upswings in hiring plans, there does seem to be hiring energy developing based on sustained year-over-year growth," Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas, said in a statement.

Manpower noted the 8 percent increase in hiring plans, the eleventh consecutive quarter of single-digit improvement in the firm's Net Employment Outlook, is still well below the historical double-digit growth it has been reporting for the past three decades.

"This fact, along with many clouds still on the economic horizon, may explain the tepid labor market growth we have seen so far," Prising said.

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. companies polled, 20 percent reported plans to increase payrolls in the third quarter. Eight percent said they plan to reduce their headcount, and 69 percent said they expect no significant change. The remaining 3 percent were undecided about their hiring plans for the quarter. Manpower derives the net figure of 8 percent by subtracting the portion of employers planning to cut payrolls from the number that plan to increase hiring, then adjusting for seasonal fluctuations.

Summer and the hospitality jobs are easy to find

The strongest growth sector for the period is expected to be leisure and hospitality, with 33 percent of companies planning to increase hiring, for a net employment rate of 27 percent. In the mining industry, Manpower reported a net employment increase of 25 percent, followed by wholesale and retail trade, with a net gain of 20 percent, and professional and business services, on target for a net gain of 19 percent.

The sectors with the most sluggish net employment are education and health services, on track for a net loss of 2 percent, and government, with a projected net drop of 1 percent.

Manpower also reported that in its global survey, which canvassed more than 63,000 employers in 39 countries, all but four nations are poised for a net employment gain in the third quarter. The firm reports that the strongest growth will come from employers in India, Brazil, Taiwan and Turkey.

By region domestically, employers are most optimistic in the U.S. Northeast, with slighter increases coming in the Midwest, South and West.

Alaska was the state with the strongest net employment increase anticipated for the third quarter, with 28 percent of employers planning to add to their payrolls. Maine, Nebraska and North Dakota were tied for the second best mark among states, with net employment projected to rise 23 percent, fueled by growth in sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and transportation and utilities.

Among the weakest markets were Florida and Alabama, each with a projected net employment increase of 7 percent.

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