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StarBulletin.com

Honolulu job prospects dim


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POSTED: Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Job prospects are dim for the second quarter of this year as the economy worsens, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released yesterday.

Honolulu area employers expect to hire at a cautious pace next quarter, in line with the rest of the nation.

Of those surveyed, 71 percent said they plan to maintain current staff levels, while 12 percent expect to reduce payrolls between April and June. Another 10 percent of companies plan to hire more employees, while 7 percent are uncertain about what they plan to do.

The construction, nondurable goods manufacturing, leisure & hospitality and government sectors plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in information and professional & business services is expected to remain unchanged.

Of the 31,800 employers surveyed in the U.S., 15 percent expect to increase their staff levels next quarter, while 14 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 67 percent expect no change in hiring and 4 percent are undecided.

“;We know that companies are having great difficulty forecasting consumer demand right now and that's a key impediment to hiring,”; said Jonas Prising, Manpower president, the Americas. “;It's like trying to make out the image in a stained glass window with no light behind it — it's tough — so employers anticipate running lean until there's more light.”;

Honolulu did not rank among the top or bottom 10 survey areas in the nation. Yakima, Wash., ranked No. 1 in strongest survey areas, while Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., and San Juan, Puerto Rico, registered the lowest net employment outlook.