More metro Atlanta employers expect to reduce staff levels in the fourth quarter, and fewer expect to increase staffing, a new study shows.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that 9 percent of employers here anticipate trimming workers from October through December, up from 6 percent who expected to from July to September.
Only 13 percent said they expect to boost staffing through the end of the year, compared to 19 percent who had expected to do so in the third quarter.
The result is what Manpower calls a net employment outlook for the fourth quarter of 4 percent, a still-positive number that nonetheless represents a noteworthy drop from the 13 percent net gain that employers expected in in the third quarter.
Local employers were more optimistic a year ago, too. Then, 20 percent expected to increase staffing in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Manpower spokesperson Beth Herman said “… employment prospects are trending weaker …” She said while there is hiring, employers are turning more to contingent workers for flexibility.
A slowdown in manufacturing, economic problems in Europe and the divisiveness of a national election year are all having an impact, she added.
The positive news, Herman noted, is that 78 percent of employers surveyed in metro Atlanta expect to maintain their current staffing levels. That’s up from 73 percent last quarter and from 66 percent a year ago.