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Area employment outlook looks brighter than rest of nation

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The future employment outlook for workers in western Wisconsin may be a little bit brighter than elsewhere in the nation, according to the quarterly employment outlook released today by the Milwaukee-based international employment agency Manpower Inc.

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According to Manpower, roughly one-third of employers in the Twin Cities and in the Chippewa Valley are looking to add employees in the coming quarter.

Nationally, the survey found that only 22 percent of employers are looking to hire in the coming quarter.

"The continuing softness in hiring activity comes as no surprise as weakening market conditions are causing many companies to carefully adjust their hiring in line with the demand for their product or service," said Jeffrey Joerres, Manpower chairman and CEO.

In the Twin Cities, 32 percent of employers are looking to hire, but the survey also found that in St. Paul 46 percent of employers will be taking on staff in the coming four months.

"Employers anticipate staff levels to be lower than the third quarter of 2008 when 37 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees," said Michele Lindberg, a spokeswoman for Manpower's Twin Cities' office.

She added that 29 percent of employers in the Twin Cities expect to cut staffs in the last quarter of the year.

The survey found that in the Twin Cities, job prospects look best in the finance, insurance and real estate sector.

Meanwhile staff cuts are expected in the non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation and public utilities sectors.

To the east in the Chippewa Valley, which includes Menomonie, Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Manpower reports that 33 percent of employers will be looking to hire and only 17 percent expect to reduce staffs.

"Employers anticipate staff levels to be lower than the third quarter of 2008 when 37 percent of companies interviewed intended to add employees," said Donna Christianson, a spokeswoman for Manpower's Eau Claire office.

The survey found that in Wisconsin only the Racine area outpaced the Chippewa Valley in the number of employers looking to add staffs.

Manpower reports that in the Chippewa Valley, job prospects look best in the transportation, public utilities and wholesale/retail trade sectors.

However, employers in the public administration, construction and non-durable goods manufacturing sectors will likely cut back their staffing levels.

Nationally, Manpower's survey indicated that only the mining sector is looking to hire in the coming quarter.

The survey also found that employers in the construction, education and public administration sectors are reporting stable hiring conditions.

"Despite the current business environment and the uncertainty that often comes with pending elections, the near-term employment outlook appears to have stabilized in some industry sectors and continues to grow in mining, creating potential opportunity for job seekers," said Jonas Prising, Manpower North America president.

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