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THE ECONOMY

<i> Times Staff and Wire Reports</i>

Fewer Companies Expect to Hire Workers: The survey by Manpower Inc. of 15,000 companies found 20% plan to take on new workers in the first quarter of 1996, down from 25% three months earlier and 22% for the first quarter of 1995. “There is an undercurrent of uncertainty [about the economy] evident in the failure of companies to be more aggressive in their staffing activities and jobs will not be as plentiful as in the past nine months,” Manpower President Mitchell Fromstein said. Staff cuts were planned by 12% of companies, up from 10% three months earlier but unchanged from the same quarter a year ago. Fromstein said that the first quarter is always the least active employment period and that in only three first quarters in the past 10 years had the outlook been more optimistic.


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