Local Tech Wire

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. – More than 20 percent of employers in the Raleigh-Cary metro area are planning to add workers in the fourth quarter, talent management and recruiting firm Manpower reported Tuesday.

Six percent are expected to cut payrolls while 71 percent are planning to maintain current staff, Manpower reported. The remaining 2 percent are unsure.

The survey results leave the Raleigh-Cary metropolitan statistical area with a net positive employment outlook of 15 percent.

That figure is the “best in the nation,” Manpower said in its report. It is a slight increase from 14 percent in the third quarter. (For the national survey, )

Raleigh-Cary shared the hiring index top spot with Washington, D.C. Poughkeepsie-Newburg-Middleton placed third at 14.

Charlotte finished in the top 10 with a index rating of 11.

Manpower no longer reports data about the Durham-Chapel Hill metro statistical area.

“Due to a methodology adjustment, we are no longer offering a report specific to Durham-Chapel Hill,” Mary Ann Lasky, manager of external communications for Manpower, told WRAL.com and LTW. “Beginning with the Quarter 3 survey in June 2010, we are reporting on the largest 100 metropolitan statistical areas (based on the number of business establishments). We have also added reports for all 50 states, D.C. and Puerto Rico. Previously, we reported on 201 metropolitan statistical areas.”

Raleigh-Cary area employers trend "optimistic"

“Employers are similarly optimistic about hiring plans for the final three months of the year compared to Quarter 3 2010 when the Net Employment Outlook was 14 percent,” said Manpower spokesperson Michael Doyle in a statement. “Employers expect a significantly faster hiring pace compared with one year ago, when the Net Employment Outlook was -6 percent.”

In the third quarter survey, 19 percent of firms said they planned to add workers while 5 percent were looking to make cuts.

A year ago, only 6 percent of companies were looking to hire while 12 percent planned reductions.

Unemployment in the Research Triangle metro area dropped slightly in July to 8 percent from 8.2 percent in June.

The state’s overall unemployment rate is 9.9 percent.

Based on the survey, Manpower said the “best” job prospects were in:

• Durable goods manufacturing
• Transportation and utilities
• Wholesale and retail trade
• Information
• Financial activities
• Professional and business Services
• Education and health services
• Leisure and hospitality and other services

Across North Carolina, meanwhile, Manpower reported a net positive outlook of 8 percent with 15 percent of firms planning to hire and 7 percent looking to make cuts.

That’s actually lower than in the third quarter.

“Employers expect to slow down the hiring pace compared to Quarter 3 2010 when the Net Employment Outlook was 12,” Doyle said.

Nationally, Manpower reported that employers plan “a slight gain in employment” with a net 5 percent of firms looking to add workers. That is up from 1 percent a year ago.

However, Manpower’s chief executive officer and chairman warned that the job market isn’t strengthening substantially.

“Clearly there are signs of a softening labor market, but when we consider what we are hearing from our clients and by looking at our own business, there is reason to be cautiously optimistic," Jeff Joerres said in a statement. "The hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are not enough to break through the labor market sound barrier that we’re all eagerly anticipating, as 71 percent of employers indicate no change in hiring."

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