By Phoenix Business Journal by Angela Gonzales, Senior Reporter
Date: Tuesday, December 13, 2011, 6:50am MST
Valley employers have a more positive outlook for hiring in the first quarter of 2012.
According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the Phoenix area, 20 percent of employers plan to increase current staff levels next quarter, while only six percent expect to reduce staff.
This positive outlook puts the Valley among the top five markets in the nation for expected employment growth, said Frank Armendariz, director of metro markets for Milwaukee-based Manpower Group, which conducts the quarterly studies.
The Cape Coral-Fort Myers market in Florida had the most positive employment outlook, he said. The Phoenix metro area tied with Houston and Des Moines, Iowa, for second place.
The Phoenix metro area has a 14 percent net employment outlook. This comes from 20 percent of employers surveyed saying they plan to hire and 6 percent saying they plan to decrease staff levels. That overall 14 percent net employment outlook is up from 11 percent during the fourth quarter of 2011 and 12 percent during the first quarter of 2011.
Job prospects appear best in manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade, financial activities, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality and other services, according to the study. Employers in information and government plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in construction, transportation and utilities, and education and health is expected to remain unchanged, Armendariz said.
He said he was glad to see the construction forecasts staying the same because it had been trending lower during the recession.
He said it is no secret that construction and real estate were hit hardest in Arizona, and said he is starting to see that industry begin to stabilize.
“We are seeing that positive trend continuing to improve and it’s been a continuous increase and improvement throughout 2011,” he said. “With this 2012 forward-looking survey, it also gives us that positive optimism that we’re going to move into 2012 with the same type of trends.”
Armendariz said the solar industry is helping the state’s economy.
“Solar, as an emerging market for Phoenix, has been one of the drivers to create jobs here in Phoenix,” he said. “If you look at many of the engineering positions, technical positions, program management positions and manufacturing, many of those are created by emerging markets of solar here in the state of Arizona. Many businesses have come here to support that new sector.”
Overall, he is seeing positive trends in the Valley.
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