Area Job Outlook Weak

By Randy Tucker, Staff Writer 6:52 PM Monday, March 7, 2011

DAYTON — Employment prospects for workers in the Dayton metro area have dimmed considerably since the beginning of the year, according to the latest quarterly outlook from staffing agency Manpower Inc.

The overall net gain in local employers planning to add staff from April through June was just 2 percent, compared to a projected net gain of 6 percent in the first quarter of this year, according to the survey.

Net employment represents the difference between the percentage of employers surveyed who anticipate hiring and the percentage of those who foresee cutting their work forces.

In the Dayton area, 9 percent of local employers plan to add staff while 7 percent plan to cut workers in the second quarter. Meanwhile, 80 percent of employers plan no changes to their staffs.

The survey indicates the best employment prospects in the Dayton area during the second quarter would be in construction, manufacturing, information technology and health care.

The employment outlook for the Dayton area was among the weakest in the nation, but the numbers were still an improvement from a year ago, said Kathy Trautman, area manager for Manpower Dayton.

“There’s a lot of uncertainty looming, but the outlook is still much better than it was at this time last year when the net employment outlook was zero,” Trautman said.

Overall, 16 percent of the 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed planned to add workers in the second quarter, while 6 percent expected to let workers go — a 10 percent net gain in the employment outlook.