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Little Overall Improvement In Hiring, But Threat Of Job Loss Low

Bloomberg BNA Quarterly Survey of Employers Shows Holding Pattern in Employment Outlook

ARLINGTON, Va., March 7, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With sequestration looming after Congress and the president stepped back from the fiscal cliff, job prospects remain in a holding pattern, according to 265 employers responding to Bloomberg BNA's latest survey on the employment outlook. Office/clerical candidates could see some improvement in job opportunities during the second quarter, but prospects for most other nonmanagement employees appear unlikely to break free of the sluggishness observed over the past two years. For the currently employed, the threat of job loss remains fairly low, with little appreciable change in reports of layoffs or imminent reductions in force.


Hiring Projections

Production/service job opportunities continue to fall short of levels observed in most of 2011 and 2012. One-fifth of the surveyed establishments expect expansion in their production/service workforces during the second quarter, up modestly from last quarter (18 percent).

Technical and professional employees continue to enjoy better overall hiring prospects than their production, service, and clerical counterparts. However, reports of technical/professional expansion plans have shown no substantive improvement during the past two years. Twenty-nine percent of responding establishments expect to hire new technical/professional employees in the second quarter of 2013, down two points from projections for the first quarter.

Office and clerical employees could have a slightly easier time finding a job in April, May, and June. Nineteen percent of surveyed employers anticipate second-quarter growth in their office/clerical workforces, up from 14 percent last quarter and the best prospects for office/clerical hiring since the fourth quarter of 2011.

Job Cuts, Employees on Layoff

Relatively few responding employers expect workforce cutbacks in the second quarter, extending a trend observed since early 2011.  Nine percent anticipate reductions in production/service employment levels during April, May, and June, unchanged from three months ago.

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