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Economy in Brief

Manpower Survey: 2Q09 Employment Seen As Weakest Since Credit Crunch Recession
by Tom Moeller March 10, 2009

The latest survey of hiring intentions by 31,800 employers, performed by Manpower Inc., indicates the weakest plans since the "credit crunch" recession of 1980. The Manpower Index level of -1 for 2Q09 follows a string of steadily declining readings since the series' peak in 2005-06. These figures are seasonally adjusted.

During the last ten years there has been a 70% correlation between the level of the Manpower Index and the quarterly change in nonfarm payroll employment.Only the overall figure is seasonally adjusted while industry detail is not.

On a not seasonally adjusted basis, the 2Q level indicates that 15% of firms intend to raise employment and 14% expected to lower the number of jobs. No change in employment is expected by 67% of firms. This is up from an average 59% who expected no change from 2006 to 2008.

Plans for the second quarter in the manufacturing sector are quite weak with a net reading of -7. This reflects 13% of employers who expect to raise employment versus 20% who expect to decrease it. In the construction industries, 16% expect to increase hiring while 20% expect to cut. In financial businesses, 12% expect higher employment while 10% expect a lower number of jobs.

Weakness in hiring plans is evenly spread across the nation's regions.

The Manpower figures can be found in Haver's SURVEYS database.

Manpower Inc Employment Outlook Surey 2Q 09 1Q 09 2Q 08 2008 2007 2006
Net Higher (SA, %) -1 10 15 13 18 21
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