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Survey: Manufacturing Hiring May Be Starting

By John S. McClenahen According to the Labor Department, the manufacturing sector of the U.S. economy did not lose any jobs in March, but it did not add any either. That could now be changing. Some 27.5% of senior financial executives surveyed in late March by Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based business and public policy research group, said their companies expected a moderate (less than 5%) or significant (more than 5%) increase in employment at their U.S. facilities during the current calendar quarter. A majority of the manufacturers -- 55.2% -- expected employment to remain at about the same level as it was in the first quarter, however. For the full year 2004, 36.2% of the executives anticipated a moderate or significant rise in employment from last year's levels, while 25.9% foresee fewer workers. Some 37.9% expected employment to remain about the same. Who's likely to be hired? Assembly, machining, production and technical workers, the survey suggests.

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