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Hiring to remain weak - survey

Employers project a slower pace of adding workers in the months ahead, according to a staffing firm's survey.

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By Jessica Dickler, CNNMoney.com staff writer

What would happen if the government let some big banks fail?
  • It would devastate the global economy
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NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- With the unemployment rate at a 25-year high, employers indicate that hiring isn't likely to pick up anytime soon, according to a staffing firm survey released Tuesday.

U.S. employers are projecting a slower hiring pace for the second quarter of 2009 compared to the first quarter and year over year, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly.

Sixty-seven percent of employers surveyed expect no change in their April to June hiring plans, on par with the last quarter but up from 60% a year ago.

"This tells us that, in this difficult economic environment, employers are attempting to manage the tension between generating a profit and maintaining their workforce infrastructure," Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower, said in a statement.

"Until the outlook is clearer, employers will continue to run lean," added Melanie Holmes, vice president for Manpower.

Of the 31,800 employers surveyed, only 15% anticipate hiring more employees during the second quarter, down from 16% in the first quarter and 26% in the same period last year.

About 14% expect a decrease in their payrolls, up from 13% last quarter and just 9% one year ago. Another 4% said they were undecided about their hiring intentions.

The net employment outlook, or difference between employers who plan to add jobs and those who expect to cut them, was 1%, down from 3% in the previous quarter and 17% in the year-ago period. That's the lowest net employment outlook since the recession of 1982.

Employers in 10 out of the 13 industry sectors surveyed anticipated decreasing their payrolls compared to three months ago.

Anticipated hiring was down in mining, durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade, information, financial activities, professional and business services, education and health services, other services, and government.

Alternatively, employers in construction and leisure and hospitality anticipate increased hiring as compared to the first quarter, Manpower said.

Only employers in transportation and utilities said they plan to keep hiring levels relatively stable for the second quarter, according to the survey.

Of the employers in 33 countries and territories surveyed worldwide, the vast majority expected to see the pace of hiring slow compared to the first quarter of 2009. Employers in 23 countries reported the weakest hiring intentions since Manpower began tracking data.

A government report Friday showed the United States has lost 3.3 million jobs over the past six months, with the unemployment rate rising to 8.1%, its highest level in 25 years. To top of page

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