Employer plans to cut staff at lowest level in decadesNews added by Benefits Pro on March 12, 2014
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By Dan Cook

Employer plans to add to staff levels or keep them where they are but are getting slightly more bullish by the quarter, while plans to decreases staff are at a four-decade low.

These were among the results of the quarterly Manpower survey of employer staff management planning. The survey offers further proof that the lessons, and whippings, of the latest recession have stuck with management, leading to an overall caution in forecasting staff levels.

The quarter-to-quarter results, as well as year-ago quarterly comparisons, underscore management's “show-me” attitude toward economic conditions. In the second quarter of 2013, 18 percent of respondents said they planned to increase staff. In the first quarter of this year, 17 percent said they planned to do so. The upcoming second quarter indicated that 19 percent of respondents expect to increase staff.

The number that isn't budging is the 73 percent who say they will keep staff levels right where they are. That figure's been the same in the year-to-year and quarter-to-quarter comparisons.

The action is in the “decrease staff levels” results. A year ago, 5 percent said they planned to decrease staff. Last quarter, 7 percent said they would decrease staff. In just one quarter, that number fell to 4 percent, a four-decade low, according to Manpower.

The net employment outlook increased from 11 percent in the year-earlier quarter to 13 percent this time — the same number reported in Q1 2014. Only 4 percent were undecided about their actions with respect to staff levels.

"Although we expect measured, stable growth in new hiring for the coming quarter, the good news is that employers anticipate the lowest rate of workforce reductions in nearly four decades," said ManpowerGroup President Jonas Prising. "With ninety-two percent of U.S. employers planning to hire or keep their staff levels steady, there is a sense of optimism that demand for goods and services is getting more predictable, allowing employers to feel more comfortable about business growth."

Originally published on BenefitsPro.com
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