Half of Area's Businesses Plan to Hire During the 4th Quarter

Half the employers in Ventura and Santa Barbara counties plan to hire more people in the fourth quarter, according to an employment outlook survey conducted by Manpower Inc.

Among local companies responding to the temporary personnel firm's quarterly survey, 50% say they will increase their work force this fall, 5% plan to reduce personnel and 42% say they will remain the same. About 3% remain uncertain.

For Southern California, 31% of employers said they expect to increase their staffing, and 57% expect no change. The 50% figure for Ventura and Santa Barbara counties was the highest in Southern California.

"It's because we have so much industry moving into this area," said Betty Andrews, manager of Manpower's Camarillo office. "The building industry here is going crazy because there's not enough office space, there's not enough warehouse space."

The best employment prospects this fall are seen in durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, wholesale-retail trade and public administration. Staff cutbacks are predicted in finance and insurance, while mixed readings are reported in construction.

Manpower said national hiring practices will remain at the high levels seen previously this year. Specifically, 29% of employers intend to add staff, 7% anticipate declines, 60% foresee no change and 4% remain uncertain.

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