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Job market looking dismal for county

By Staff
Morgan County employers expect to hire at a very sluggish pace during the first quarter of 2007, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Among survey participants, the Morgan County area employment outlook is one of the weakest in the nation.
From January to March, none of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 27 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, according to Manpower spokesperson Cheron Pitts-White. Another 73 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels.
“In the Decatur area, employers expect significantly less hiring activity than in the fourth quarter when 33 percent of the companies interviewed intended to increase headcount, and 10 percent planned to decrease it,” said Pitts-White. “Employers are also much less optimistic about hiring than they were a year ago when 20 percent of companies surveyed thought job gains were likely and 7 percent intended to cut back.”
For more than two years, U.S. employers have consistently reported steady hiring plans.
Although the first quarter job forecast is similar to last quarter and last year at this time, a subtle downward shift has emerged. While it is too early to note if this is a trend, this marks two consecutive quarters of more cautious hiring plans.

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