updated 3/15/2005 9:23:18 AM ET 2005-03-15T14:23:18

Employers surveyed by Manpower Inc. will continue to add to payrolls at a steady and measured pace in the next quarter as the global economy improves, according to the company’s latest survey, released on Tuesday.

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“What we’re seeing is that companies are really being consistent in their desire to bring people on,” said Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and chief executive of the Milwaukee, Wisconsin-based employment services company. 

Thirty percent of U.S. employers plan to increase hiring in the second quarter, compared with 24 percent in the first quarter, Manpower said in its latest employment outlook survey. Just 7 percent of employers expected to decrease staff, the survey showed.

While the pace of hiring may seem cautious given the increase in quarterly profits and cash at many U.S. companies, employers are going to be much slower in taking risks following the economic downturn of the last four years, Joerres said.

“We probably should be able to sustain this (recovery) longer than we have before because it doesn’t have this euphoric and then manic-depressive environment,” he said. “That should be good as we look toward the longevity of the recovery.”

The construction, public administration and mining sectors showed some of the strongest growth, according to the survey of 16,000 employers.

Construction companies are most likely to increase payrolls this quarter as they gear up for the spring and summer busy season. Thirty-six percent of construction employers said they were planning to hire workers.

In the mining sector, 31 percent of employers expect to increase staff, while 28 percent expect to do so in public administration.

“We’re seeing that the education and public administration sector, which has gone through a lot of budget cuts in the past, might be now starting to find its feet,” Joerres said.

After two consecutive quarters of declines, the education sector also showed signs of recovery as 19 percent of employers said they expected to boost payrolls.

Job seekers are more likely to find work in the West and South, the survey showed, while the Northeast continued to lag other regions.

Outside of the United States, New Zealand and Hong Kong had the most bullish employers, as 30 percent and 26 percent respectively of employers expected to hire more staff in the second quarter. In Europe, the U.K., Ireland and Norway showed the strongest growth, with 12 percent to 15 percent of employers expected to hire, according to the survey’s seasonally adjusted data.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available for 19 countries and territories. The quarterly survey was launched in 1962 in the United States and Canada.

Copyright 2005 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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