A new survey of U.S. corporate economists shows that their businesses may be set to hire more workers in the coming months.
The U.S. government says that American employers hired just 88,000 more workers in March after several months when more than twice that number was added. Last month's figure sparked fears that the labor market in the world's largest economy might be slowing again.
But a recent survey by the National Association for Business Economics said that 40 percent of those questioned said their companies plan to increase hiring in the next six months, compared to 9 percent foreseeing more layoffs.
The chief economist for the Associated General Contractors of America, Ken Simonson, said the forecast was one of the most favorable in the 30-year history of the survey.
"We had a net of 30 percent of the firms saying that they would be expanding hiring in the next six months and that was the best reading in two years, one of the best in the 30-year history of the survey."
Simonson said the cumulative effect of an improving U.S. economy could push companies to hire more workers.
"It does reflect what they said about the last quarter," he said. "That more firms reported higher sales, higher profit margins, and I think it’s also a cumulative effect of three-and-a-half years of growth in the economy, that now more firms say, well, 'we really can’t get by with just the workforce we have, we have to add more people.'"
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.