Job prospects brighten in new projection

After several months of discouraging news on the job front, a new survey finds many employers across Nebraska plan to add to their staffs during July, August and September. Mike Lynch, spokesman for Manpower Incorporated, says a large number of employers in the region’s largest metro area plan much more hiring than firing in the upcoming quarter.

The best numbers are in Omaha-Council Bluffs, with 22-percent of employers surveyed saying they’ll add to the staff and only seven-percent planning a staff reduction. That’s the third-best rate for the quarter for metro areas nationwide.

Lynch says Omaha wasn’t the only shining star on the state survey. Lincoln is also looking more positive, he says, as 16-percent of employers surveyed said they planned to make hires in the third quarter, while nine-percent planned staff reductions. He says several industries look good for hiring opportunities, including construction, manufacturing, wholesale/retail and information services.

Lynch says there’s more optimism than even three months ago. He says the recession has been gentler in Nebraska than in many other parts of the U-S. “There has been activity all the way along, Lynch says. “All through this downturn, there has been hiring activity in pockets here and there and that’s been offset by the layoff activity that’s been well-publicized.”

He says everyone’s just been “treading water and waiting for something good to happen.” Lynch compares the situation to a pile of charcoal that’s already been doused with lighter fluid — and we’re just waiting for a lit match to be tossed.