Job view stays solid Survey finds 19% of Md. employers planning to hire in 1st quarter of '98

Nearly same as last year

Outlook for Baltimore, nation shows continued demand for workers


November 24, 1997|By Ted Shelsby | Ted Shelsby,SUN STAFF

Nearly a fifth of Maryland employers will be looking for new workers early next year, according to a new survey by Manpower Inc., the temporary employment agency.

Based on telephone interviews with nearly 500 employers throughout the state, Manpower found that 19 percent plan to hire during the first quarter of 1998 -- down just a point from 20 percent for the same period this year.

Of the Maryland companies polled by Manpower, 10 percent said they plan to shrink their work forces next quarter. That compares with 11 percent in the first quarter of 1997.

Sixty-seven percent of the companies plan no change, compared with 72 percent in the earlier period, and 4 percent said they have not yet determined their employment needs for the first three months of 1998, according to John S. Ward, the company's area manager for Maryland and Delaware.

Job hunters should find it easier landing a position in the Baltimore area than for the state as a whole.

The Manpower survey revealed that 22 percent of area companies said they plan to be hiring early next year. Sixty-four percent said no employment changes were anticipated and 11 percent were uncertain about the employment outlook.

Most of the job openings in Maryland early next year are expected to be in the areas of construction, durable goods manufacturing and finance, which includes insurance and real dTC estate.

A mix of staffing gains and declines is expected in non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation, public utilities, wholesale and retail trade, services and public administration.

Nationwide, the strong demand for workers evident throughout 1997 will continue into the new year. Twenty-four percent of the companies surveyed said they would recruit new employees.

Only 10 percent planned to cut staff and 62 percent said they planned no changes. Four percent were not certain of their hiring plans.

The national job outlook is based on telephone interviews with more than 16,000 public and private employers in 488 cities.

In the Manpower survey, economic vitality is especially apparent in the area around Baltimore-Washington International Airport, where 30 percent of the companies surveyed said they had plans to boost the size of their staffs early next year.

Twenty-six percent of the companies in the Hagerstown area and Western Maryland indicated they would be taking on new workers.

Other promising areas for job hunters are Columbia, Frederick and Rockville/Bethesda. The Manpower survey revealed that 23 percent of the companies surveyed in these cities plan to increase the size of their work forces.

Pub Date: 11/24/97

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