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About 20% of human resources professionals said their companies plan to hire in the fourth quarter, according to the labor market outlook quarterly survey by the Society for Human Resource Management.
Another 14% planned to cut jobs, and 59% said their firms would maintain staff levels.
"HR managers are optimistic that the economy is inching towards a recovery but are crafting cautious hiring plans with more aggressive recruitment not expected until 2010," said Jennifer Schramm, manager of workplace trends and forecasting at SHRM.
Fewer companies planned to cut jobs in the fourth quarter than in the third-quarter survey when 30% said they would make cuts. However, more human resource professionals, 24%, said they planned to increase staff in the third quarter.
The survey included responses from 402 human resource professionals.