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Tuesday, September 11, 2012 - 2:00am

End-Of-Year Hiring Looks Sluggish

Georgia companies aren’t planning a lot of hiring in the last three months of the year.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook out Tuesday is 4 percent for Georgia -- down four points from the third quarter and two points from last year.

In the employment outlook survey, 12 percent of Georgia companies said they plan to increase staff in the fourth quarter; 8 percent expect cuts.

Manpower regional vice president Beth Herman said she was surprised by the drop, but it’s probably a blip.

“Four percent does look a little daunting when we’ve been at 13 and 10. But the flip side is -- and I’m not trying to be Pollyanna about it -- I really do believe we’ll know a lot more with [the first quarter of 2013] and when the election’s done,” Herman said. “Georgia has bounced, though. Georgia’s been up-down, up-down, up-down, [but] not this big a variation.”

Herman said the more important finding in the survey is that 78 percent of companies said they are planning to maintain personnel levels.

“This is three years of a positive net employment outlook. So while the pace is certainly not what we want to see, the fact of the matter is, employers are still looking for talent,” she said. “They do continue to hire.”

Herman said many of those companies are interested in temporary, contract workers. She said the jobs often become permanent, so job-seekers should consider those positions.