Employer Hiring Plans Remain Flat

December 19, 2011 – After an initial pickup in hiring projections from Q4 2010 to the first quarter of 2011, employer hiring plans were largely flat in the remaining three quarters of 2011 and are showing some indications of slowing in the Q1 2012, according to BNA's quarterly employment survey. Just over one in five surveyed employers (21 percent) plan to add production and service staff in the first quarter of 2012, a five percent decline in hiring plans since the fourth quarter of 2011 and the Q1 2011 (26 percent). Hiring projections have declined more in larger organizations of 1,000 employees or more (from 29 percent to 15 percent) than in smaller ones (from 26 percent to 23 percent). Nearly three in 10 employers (28 percent) will be adding technical and professional staff in the first quarter of 2012, down three percent from the previous quarter and Q1 2011 (31 percent). Hiring projections through 2011 hovered just above the 30 percent mark. “There is a great deal of uncertainty right now,” said BNA surveys director Matthew Sottong. “Poor economic performance, not only in the U.S. but also abroad, gridlock on Capital Hill and the run-up to a Presidential election where the outcome is very much in doubt…all of those factors lead to timidity on the part of business to expand and hire new people. Until some of those factors are resolved, we are very likely to continue to see flat or slowing job growth in all business sectors.”

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