Employer survey points to uptick in hiring in Colorado Springs for third quarter

By: WAYNE HEILMAN wayneh@gazette.com
June 10, 2014

The Colorado Springs job market is expected to improve in the third quarter from the current quarter, but won't be quite as good as a year ago, according to a quarterly employer survey by temporary staffing giant ManpowerGroup.

The percentage of employers planning to hire in the July-to-September quarter exceeds those planning cuts by 20 percentage points: 26 percent expect to add staff, while 6 percent anticipate reductions. The remaining 68 percent either don't plan change in staff levels or aren't sure about plans.

The local outlook places Colorado Springs in a four-way tie for the 27th best among the nation's 100 largest metropolitan areas, and it's more optimistic than the state and national outlooks.

While the local outlook is up 6 percentage points from the current quarter, it's still down 2 percentage points from the same period a year ago.

The local hiring outlook has been less optimistic compared with the same quarter a year earlier for three of the past four quarters.

Tom Binnings, a senior partner with Summit Economics LLC, a local economic research and consulting firm, downplayed the slightly less optimistic outlook as not statistically significant and noted that job growth is accelerating at both the state and national levels.

"I believe we will continue to see greater demand for workers from companies that sell products and services to the rest of the country," Binnings said.

"By most measures, the state and national economies have gained momentum and continue to have a positive outlook."

The Manpower survey found good job prospects in most sectors of the local economy, including construction, manufacturing and professional and business services. Employers in the broad "other services" category are planning staff cuts, and no changes are planned in information technology and financial services.

Statewide, 26 percent of employers plan to hire additional workers, while 7 percent expect cutbacks for a net outlook of 19 percentage points.

That is up from a net outlook of 15 percentage points in the second quarter, but down slightly from a net outlook of 20 percentage points in the third quarter of 2013.

Denver's outlook is slightly less optimistic than the Springs and state at 18 percentage points, up from 15 percentage points in the second quarter and unchanged from the same quarter a year ago.

Nationwide, 22 percent of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed anticipate staff expansion in the third quarter, while just 4 percent expect cuts, for a net outlook of 18 percent.

After seasonal adjustments, the nation's employment outlook was up 1 percentage point from the previous quarter to 14 percent.

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