Housing slowdown could hurt construction jobs
Most other industries are expected to hold steady in the next three months, according to latest survey by Manpower.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) - Employers expect no significant changes in their rates of hiring for the next three months, but construction employment is edging down slightly, according to a survey released Tuesday.
Of 16,000 employers surveyed by the temporary-staffing agency Manpower, 31 percent plan to add workers in the third quarter of 2006. Six percent plan on reducing staff, while 57 percent plan on no changes at all. Six percent were undecided.
"Although construction employers expect to hire at a brisk pace again during the third quarter, hiring in this sector has inched downward throughout 2006," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "There is rampant speculation about the state of the housing market, and these survey results are another piece of evidence that point toward a cooling trend."
According to the survey, construction employers "in the West have the strongest hiring plans, while those in the Midwest report considerably weaker staffing expectations."
Manpower President of North America Jonas Prising added, "It's the only sector in the survey with a distinguishable tick downward. We may be seeing some of the housing backlog come to an end."
Speaking of the job market overall, Joerres said, "It is unlikely that we will experience any major swings, negative or positive, in the job market until employers see a dramatic change in demand for their products and services."
Employers in the areas of "transportation/public utilities" and "finance/real estate/insurance" expect slight improvements in hiring.
Companies in the services industry expect "a small acceleration in the hiring pace" as do public administrations employers, according to the survey.
Regionally, the Northeast has the rosiest hiring outlook, while the Midwest expects the least growth.
Regarding energy costs, Prising noted that Manpower has not yet seen any quantifiable effects on hiring trends. But the company has noticed concern among workers. "People are still coming in to work, but they're concerned. They're certainly taking a hit on commuting."
Prising is careful to point out that information on energy costs on the labor market is anecdotal and not measured in the survey.
Manpower also surveys global patterns. Of the 49,000 employers contacted worldwide, those in India, Hong Kong, Japan, Costa Rica, Taiwan and the United States planned the most hiring increases.
Germany, Italy and the Netherlands were least optimistic.
China reported its weakest employment prospects since the survey was established in that country in the second quarter for 2005.