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Employers Not Adding New Jobs in Rhode Island

Posted on September 8, 2010

Employers are holding fast to their budgets and are not adding many new jobs in Rhode Island, according to a new survey from Manpower.

A seasonally adjusted net 5% of firms said they intend to hire in the fourth quarter, about flat from the 6% who said they planned to hire in the third quarter, but up from a record low of negative 2% a year ago, according to the Milwaukee-based firm’s survey of more than 18,000 U.S. employers.

Still, in a robust economy, Manpower’s seasonally adjusted net employment outlook hovers in the low- to mid-20s. Before the record low of negative 2% for the third and fourth quarters of 2009, the survey’s previous low point was a net 1% hiring outlook for the third quarter of 1982. The survey started in 1962.

“The employment outlook has been positive for all four quarters but clearly it’s flattening out,” said Jonas Prising, president of Manpower in the Americas.

Employers’ hiring outlook “remains better than last year all the way through but it indicates that employers are taking a very cautious approach to hiring,” he said. “They still want to maintain and hold on to their current work force but are only anticipating cautious hiring.”

The Manpower survey measures the percentage of firms planning to hire minus those intending layoffs. Manpower doesn’t measure the number of jobs.

Separately, the U.S. economy lost 54,000 nonfarm jobs in August, though the private sector gained 67,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department.


Looked at by industry, 11 of 13 sectors showed a positive net employment outlook for the fourth quarter, compared with 10 of 13 sectors in the third quarter. But for the fourth quarter, all but one industry showed a decline in sentiment from the third quarter. Manpower’s industry data is not seasonally adjusted.

The two industries with a negative net employment outlook for the fourth quarter were construction, at negative 8%, and government, at negative 7%. The Manpower survey does not count Census hiring; the decline in government hiring is due instead to severe budget shortfalls, Prising said. “The government, state and federal, is still struggling with budget restrictions and deficits,” he said, “especially the states.”

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