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4Q hiring outlook in Chicago area better than in 2011, weaker than 3Q

Updated: October 14, 2012 1:23PM

Fewer employers in the Chicago area plan to hire in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, but planned hiring is up from the fourth quarter of 2011, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook survey.

Eighteen percent of employers responding to the survey said they plan to increase hiring, down from 22 percent in the third quarter, but up from 14 percent in the fourth quarter.

Eleven percent of employers said they plan to cut staff in the upcoming quarter, nearly quadruple the 3 percent reported in the third quarter, but down from 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

Job prospects appear best in non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, information, professional and business services, education and health services and other services.

Prospects are the weakest in construction, financial activities, leisure and hospitality and government, where employers are planning to reduce staff.

The report showed the Chicago area’s net employment outlook at 7 percent, up from 1 percent a year earlier, but down from 19 percent in the third quarter.

Nationally, the outlook stood at 11 percent, the best fourth quarter outlook in five years and matching the third quarter. It rose from 8 percent in the fourth quarter of 2011.

“Despite tumultuous global economies, election uncertainty, record heat waves, health care reform and other challenges, employers indicate that steady but cautious hiring progress will continue through the end of the year,” Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas said in a statement. “The data shows that companies are very cautious about adding staff, but still have the intention to increase their workforces in the fourth quarter.”

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