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Looking for a job? Things may be looking up

  • Manpower survey: Hiring will increase in 2013
  • It's the survey's strongest first-quarter outlook in five years
Looking for a job? Things may be looking up

Fiscal cliff? What fiscal cliff?

According to a new survey, the people who make hiring decisions are optimistic about 2013, and more are planning to add jobs than to cut them in the first three months of next year.

Manpower surveyed more than 18,000 employers, and found that 17 percent expect to beef up their workforce in the first quarter. That's the survey's strongest first-quarter outlook in five years.

Eight percent of employers surveyed plan to cut jobs, and three percent haven't decided yet. The vast majority of employers surveyed, 72 percent, plan to keep things status quo.

Employers have a positive hiring outlook in 12 of 13 industry sectors covered by the survey. Perhaps most notably, retailers anticipate hiring more people in the first quarter of next year, which would be a change from past years.

“Historically, the trend has been for wholesale and retail trade employers to tighten up staff counts after the holiday rush,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. He says the plans to increase hiring "reflect a boost in consumer confidence.”

The only industry sector with a negative outlook for hiring in the first quarter is construction.

Regionally, employers in the Northeast and West predict a slight increase in hiring, while plans to add jobs among employers in the Midwest and South remain unchanged, according to the survey.

What about jobs where you live, or might want to move to? The survey broke down the job outlook by metropolitan areas, and found hiring prospects the strongest in Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Florida, followed by Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, and Austin, Texas.

Cities to steer clear of if you're looking for work? The survey says job prospects are dim in St. Louis; Portland, Maine; Wichita, Kansas; Spokane, Washington; and Youngstown, Ohio.

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