NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
Employers' hiring expectations for the third quarter haven't changed much from last year, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Fifty-seven percent of the 16,000 employers polled by staffing firm Manpower expect their job numbers to stay the same in the upcoming quarter, a shade below 59 percent in the year-ago period.
Thirty-one percent of the survey respondents expect to boost hiring in the upcoming quarter, relatively unchanged from 30 percent last year, and 6 percent of the employers forecast a drop in hiring, unchanged from last year.
"This indicates that employers are hiring on an as-needed basis, but are still not ready to staff up until demand for their business truly requires it," Manpower CEO Jeffrey Joerres said.
Employers in construction have the most upbeat forecasts. Hiring in the transportation and public utilities sector is also likely to pick up, while the finance/insurance/real estate industry expects the softest hiring numbers, the survey said.
Outlook best in the South
The findings show that if you're looking for work, head South for the most promising prospects. Leading hiring in the region are the following sectors: transportation/public utilities; education; construction; non-durable goods manufacturing; and wholesale/retail.
Thirty-two percent of southern employers expect to bump up hiring, and when seasonal data is taken into account, the region has the strongest employment outlook, according to the survey.
The Midwest has the gloomiest forecast in the country.
Twenty-eight percent of employers expect to take on new workers, and when adjusted for seasonal fluctuations, employers in this region expect a slowdown in hiring from last year.
In the Northeast and West, hiring expectations haven't changed much from last year.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employers' intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter, but it does not measure the actual number of jobs for which employers plan to hire.
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