Businesses in the East Valley and the rest of the Phoenix area as a whole again are some of the tops in the country in forecasted employment hiring for the new year.
For the third time in the past several months, a survey of businesses by Manpower Group predicts the Valley will be among the top five places for hiring in an upcoming quarter. The survey includes companies that use Manpower Group to hire employees and others. The Valley made the top five communities nationwide for the first quarter of 2012, as well as the fourth quarter of 2011.
The most recent survey shows that overall, 20 percent of companies are planning to hire during the first quarter of 2013. That’s a net result based on the percent of companies that plan to hire, the percent that plan to downsize (3and the percent that don’t predict any changes.
For the Valley, that’s up from the net outlook of 17 percent for the fourth quarter of 2012 and way up from the 14 percent net outlook for the first quarter of 2011.
Frank Armendariz, regional vice president for Manpower Group, said one of the reasons the Valley is leading is because so many jobs were cut during the recession.
“We were one of the areas most hit” with job loss and the real estate bust, he said. “We’re seeing that recovery. The gap, or recovery, is wider for us because we were impacted so significantly. There’s more optimism by the employers out there hiring. It’s even more encouraging because typically going into the first quarter of every year companies are more conservative with their hiring forecasts. This year, these are very, very positive results for Arizona overall.”
Armendariz said it’s also important to note that the percent of companies that plan to cut staff has dropped in half over the last year.
“A year ago we had 7 percent,” he said.
William Jabjiniak, director of economic development for Mesa, said the survey results are “encouraging.”
“Mesa and the entire (Valley) typically climb to higher peaks in good economic times and fall to deeper valleys when the economic environment changes for the worse. While it’s encouraging to know nearly 20 percent of the companies are hiring, we have to remember 80 percent of the companies are staying with the current level of workforce,” he wrote in an email to the Tribune. “As we head into 2013, most of the employers we have talked with are still cautiously optimistic for the near term. We are working with a few companies that have shown positive signs of growth and have discussed expansion opportunities. Momentum seems to be building and we need a strong start in the new calendar year.”
Nationwide, the Manpower Group survey suggests the strongest first quarter outlook in five years. For the first quarter of 2011, 9 percent of companies predict job hiring. “Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces in quarter one 2013, while 8 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of 9 percent,” a release from Manpower Group states. “When seasonally adjusted, the net employment outlook becomes 12 percent. Seventy- two percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 3 percent of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.”
For the Valley, all types of companies are predicting to hire, Armendariz said.
“We’re seeing it in industries across the board. We’re looking at anywhere from the professional services to supply chain and manufacturing. We have some call centers coming back and some have ramped up.”
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