Modest Job Market Anticipated for Burlington December 14, 2004 Burlington area employers expect to hire at a moderate pace during the first quarter of 2005, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. From January to March, 20% of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 17% expect to reduce their payrolls, according to Manpower spokesperson Susan Cram. Another 46% expect to maintain their current staff levels and 17% are not certain of their hiring plans. In the Burlington area, employers expect less hiring activity than in the fourth quarter when 27% of the companies interviewed intended to increase headcount, and 13% planned to decrease it,” said Cram. “Employers are more optimistic about hiring than they were a year ago when 13% of companies surveyed thought employment increases were likely and 17% intended to cut back.” For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate. Employers in Education plan to reduce staffing levels, while those in Durable Goods Manufacturing and Services voice mixed hiring intentions. Hiring in Construction, Transportation/Public Utilities and Public Administration is expected to remain unchanged.National results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2005 predict a slight boost in the hiring pace. Of the 16,000 U.S. employers that were surveyed, 24% anticipate and increase in hiring activity for the first quarter, while 10% expect to decrease staff levels. Fifty-nine percent of employers surveyed foresee no change in job prospects, and 7% are unsure of their hiring plans. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the outlook for the first three months of 2005 reveals that employer confidence is expected to inch upward from last quarter and improve greatly from a year ago.