NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - From July through September, the pace of hiring in the United States is projected to be as strong as it is in the second quarter.
That's the finding of a survey of 16,000 U.S. employers released Tuesday by Milwaukee-based temporary staffing company Manpower Inc.
"In our second quarter survey, U.S. employers reported the strongest employment outlook since early 2001. The fact that employers expect to hire at the same pace in the third quarter suggests that they continue to feel confident," said Manpower's CEO Jeffrey A. Joerres in a statement.
Manpower found 30 percent of companies said they expect to increase total employment in the third quarter, 6 percent said they would decrease it, and 59 percent predicted no change from the second quarter.
The Manpower survey follows on the heels of three months of strong jobs growth numbers. From the beginning of March through the end of May, nearly 1 million jobs have been created, according to data from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Of the 10 industry sectors the Manpower survey measures, employers in seven of them expect to increase hiring activity in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. Compared with the same period a year ago, the hiring prospects across all 10 sectors are stronger.
The services industry and the wholesale and retail trade sector boast the greatest percentage of employers who anticipate increased hiring in the third-quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis.
The most muted increases can be seen in public administration, where 8 percent of employers project hiring increases, and education, where 16 percent of employers plan to boost payrolls.
Nevertheless, the hiring prospects in education show the greatest improvement compared with the second quarter than any other sector.
Job outlook is best in West
Regionally, the West is the only part of the country expected to increase hiring overall on a seasonally adjusted basis compared with the second quarter. Companies in the other three regions are expected to hire at the same pace.
The greatest number of employers planning hiring increases in the West are in durable-goods manufacturing (28 percent), mining (27 percent), and wholesale and retail trade (26 percent).
In the South, the most employers projecting a bump in payrolls are in construction (29 percent), services (25 percent), and wholesale and retail trade (24 percent).
In the Northeast, the greatest number of employers anticipating more hires are in education (21 percent), durable-goods manufacturing (21 percent, which is the most optimistic projection in three years); finance, insurance and real estate (19 percent); services (19 percent); and wholesale and retail trade (19 percent).
In the Midwest, the biggest percentage of employers planning a hiring boost are in non-durable-goods manufacturing (21 percent); and in construction (20 percent), transportation and public utilities (20 percent), and wholesale and retail trade (20 percent).
What the numbers don't show
The Manpower survey does not measure the actual number of jobs for which employers plan to hire. So, theoretically, even if more employers in one sector – for example, services – plan to increase hiring than employers in another sector – say, education – that doesn't necessarily mean there will be more job openings in services than education.
Nor does the survey reflect whether the employers planning to increase hiring will be offering permanent or temporary positions, and whether those positions are newly created or simply jobs that were left unfilled due to layoffs or attrition.
Nevertheless, the hiring outlook provides one measure of employment health in a given field.
And even where temporary positions account for a boost in hiring, it's possible a significant number will become permanent. Manpower, which provides temporary staff for its clients, averages a 40 percent annual conversion rate in the placements it makes, said Barbara Beck, Manpower's executive vice president, North America.