The unemployment rate remains stubbornly high, but job creation in the Knoxville region will remain steady in the first quarter of 2011, while nationwide the hiring outlook is the most optimistic it’s been in more than two years according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released on Tuesday.
In Knoxville, 15 percent of the employers surveyed said they will add employees in the January through March period, while 8 percent plan to cut jobs, for a “Net Employment Outlook” of +7 percent, Manpower reported.
That’s the same net outlook as the fourth quarter of 2010 but substantially better than the -2 percent outlook in the first quarter of 2010, the global workforce solutions company reported.
Nationwide, 14 percent of employers plan to add jobs in the first quarter of 2011 and 10 percent plan to cut jobs, for a net outlok of +4 percent job growth and the fifth consecutive quarter of employment growth.
When seasonally adjusted, the national employment outlook for the first quarter of 2011 is +9 percent, up from +5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2010, Manpower reported.
Although hiring is stablizing, the current employment outlook remains below the average for the past decade, according to Manpower.
“The fact that hiring expectations are trending upward is an encouraging sign,” Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas, said in a prepared statement.
“This quarter’s survey responses paint a picture of a job market that is easing up, although not as quickly as anyone would like. We are still stuck in first gear, but the ongoing sector-wide improvement we have seen over the last year suggests that the labor market is ready to shift to a higher gear in 2011,” Prising added.
The best Knoxville area job prospects in the first quarter are in durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, professional and business services, education and health services and government, according to the Manpower survey.
Employers in construction, financial activities and leisure and hospitality plan to cut jobs, Manpower said.