Even as employers nationwide slashed some 63,000 jobs last month, more than a quarter of U.S. companies say they plan to hire within the...

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MILWAUKEE — Even as employers nationwide slashed some 63,000 jobs last month, more than a quarter of U.S. companies say they plan to hire within the next three months, according to a survey of 14,000 companies.

Across the country, some 26 percent of companies expect to increase the size of their work force between April and June, according to the survey to be released today by global staffing company Manpower. Nine percent plan a decrease, while 60 percent predict no change and 5 percent are unsure, the company found.

The numbers are slightly worse than those for the same quarter last year, when 28 percent of employers expected to hire and 7 percent planned to cut jobs. But they’re better than the predictions for the current quarter, when hiring was expected to outpace job cuts by a margin of just 10 percentage points.

The survey’s margin of sampling error is less than plus or minus 1 percentage point.

The results show that employers are being more thoughtful in their hiring practices, but they’re not scaling back completely, said Jonas Prising, Manpower’s president for North America.

“Nobody’s pulling the hand brakes yet,” he said. “Everybody’s braking somewhat. Everyone’s cautious. Most sectors are being cautious.”

The quarterly survey conducted since 1962 predicts a modest slowdown in virtually every industry across the board, from manufacturing and mining to education and wholesale and retail trade.

The outlook was bleakest in the construction industry, where 28 percent of companies anticipate growth and 13 percent expect job cuts.

Respondents in two industries — the service industry and transportation and public-utilities industry — said hiring rates will remain stable in the upcoming quarter compared with same quarter last year.