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Hiring numbers in Manpower Inc.'s (NYSE: MAN) employer outlook survey released today are the weakest since the first quarter of 2004 with U.S. employers planning to slow hiring in the second quarter of 2008, the company reported.
The survey found 26% of U.S. employers plan to add to their workforces in the second quarter, 9% expected to cut staff, 60% anticipated no changes, and 5% were unsure. The net employment outlook was 17% for the second quarter, or 14% seasonally adjusted. That compares to seasonally adjusted net employment outlooks of 17% in the first quarter of 2008 and 18% for the second quarter of 2007.
"A slowing in hiring intentions reflects a widespread wait-and-see approach among employers," said Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Joerres. "However, the survey data points to a gradual and measured downshift, not a sudden and overwhelming change. Interestingly, this data does not look like previous recessionary periods where we experienced much more accelerated declines."
The report surveyed 14,000 U.S. employers.