Hiring intentions take a hit as transport gets nervous

Economic woes continue to afflict transport sector, with some businesses planning to pull back investment in the fourth quarter of 2010

By Brad Gardner | September 7, 2010

Transport operators are anticipating a reduction in employment numbers in the fourth quarter of 2010, as economic conditions lead to uncertainty.

In the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today, the transport and utilities sector reports weaker hiring prospects than the national average.

According to the survey, 23 percent of transport and utilities businesses anticipate increasing employment compared to 7 percent who plan to decrease numbers.

The number of businesses planning to hire more staff represents a 10 percent decline based on the findings of the previous quarter, while the number of businesses planning to axe staff rose 4 percent.

The net employment outlook – the difference between the anticipated increase and decrease in employment – is 16 percent. Nationally, the net employment outlook fell five points to 19 percent.

"At the time of the survey, a looming election and talk of a double dip recession in the US may have affected employer confidence," Manpower Managing Director Lincoln Crawley says.

"But it must be remembered that while hiring intentions have fallen, they’re coming off a remarkably high base," he says.

Based on a yearly comparison, the outlook has improved by five points.

Nationally, the manufacturing and mining and construction sectors are also anticipating a sharp decline. Manufacturing’s employment outlook has fallen seven points to 11 percent, while the latter reports a six percent decline to 25 percent.

"After building inventory during the recovery, it’s not surprising to see these sectors paring back their investments at this time," Crawley says.

He says the national employment outlook remains steady, with 27 percent of all businesses planning to increase hiring. The number of employers planning to sack people increased from six to seven percent based on the previous quarter’s findings.

But Crawley says the latest figures are still a good result for national net employment outlook, which is still 11 points higher than this time last year.

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