One of the most turbulent sectors of the economy is enjoying a period of steady growth.
One of the most turbulent sectors of the economy is enjoying a period of steady growth. In its “2005 Industry Outlook” report, Natick, Mass.-based ZweigWhite cites a new survey from Milwaukee-based Manpower that shows as of November 2004, the U.S. Department of Labor has reported 14 consecutive months of job growth in the U.S. economy, dating back to September 2003. Of the 16,000 employers that were surveyed, 28% planned to add staff in the fourth quarter and 7% expected to reduce their payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of 21%. The western part of the nation has the most positive outlook, and the Northeast has the weakest, making this the third consecutive quarter it had hiring levels lower than other regions. The seasonally adjusted figure for construction employees bottomed out at 6.66 million in February 2003 and March 2003. The monthly figures have increased since that point, surpassing 7 million in October 2004. While hiring and keeping qualified employees may not be as much of a challenge in 2005 as it was in the late '90s, employers will likely have a more difficult time with staffing in 2005 than they have in recent years. Respondents to ZweigWhite's “2005 AEC Business Trends Survey” report that their greatest staffing need in 2005 will be experienced professionals, those with seven to 10 years of experience.