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Tuesday, December 13, 2011 - 9:19am

Georgia Job Outlook Good

Georgia companies are optimistic about hiring in the first months of 2012, according to the latest Manpower survey.

The survey, released Tuesday, found the number of Georgia employers who plan to hire workers or keep the ones they have is holding steady, while the number who plan to cut employees is dropping.

A year ago, only 13 percent of Georgia companies planned to hire and 10 percent planned to cut employees. Now, that gap has widened, with 15 percent projecting staffing increases and only 7 percent expecting cuts.

“I would say a lot of it, from dealing with our clients and the companies that we deal with in the marketplace, is just pent-up demand,” said Rob Persiano, regional vice president for Experis, a Manpower subsidiary that works in information technology, finance and engineering.

“I think [companies have] a lot of key projects, key initiatives that are underway that they quite frankly have not been able to complete or have been on the back burner because of the fact that we’ve been in a recession,” he said.

Persiano said job prospects in early 2012 look best in manufacturing, finance, I.T. and healthcare.

The improved outlook is the best bump since 2008, Persiano said.

He said companies have been using more contractors and seasonal employees.

“Companies tend to utilize that vehicle to find the right talent levels and then they’ll decide, as the demand continues to increase, whether or not to bring those individuals on as full-time employees,” Persiano said. “We’re seeing a lot more of that.”

The survey found the economy is still injecting some uncertainty into employers’ plans, however.

More companies – 5 percent, up from 3 percent a year ago – say they don’t know what their employment picture will look like early next year.

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