Of 685 executives surveyed, 47.6 percent indicated plans to make additions to their staffs during the first half of 2004, up by 10.4 points from the second half of 2003. Another 45 percent plan to maintain their current staff sizes, down by 10.1 points, and 7.4 percent plan to decrease their staff, down by 0.5.
Mark Angott, ASG's president and CEO, stated, "Clearly many of the companies who were holding off on hiring have begun to let go of their wait-and-see position. Now that businesses are tentatively prepared to make capital investments, and factories are seeing an increase in demand, companies are reevaluating their staff levels. After several years of job cutting and unfilled positions, they know they have to start hiring in order to meet that demand."
Respondents were also asked if they thought it was likely that the current upsurge in the economy would be sustainable. The majority expressed confidence that the recovery is real: 9.3 percent thought that it was extremely likely, 43.8 percent felt that it was likely, and 31.5 percent thought it was somewhat likely.
"Many companies in the manufacturing sector are reporting that new orders and production are up," commented Angott, "and productivity in general increased significantly in 2003. In fact, the third quarter ended with the biggest increase in 20 years. Some industries like technology, which had been lagging, are now anticipating large increases in new hires."
This is the 53rd in an ongoing series of polls conducted by Angott Search Group.
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Publication date: 03/29/2004