An overwhelming number of employers surveyed by one of the largest employment agencies in the United States indicate hiring plans remain stable through the end of September.
Manpower Incorporated's survey of more than 28,000 U.S. employers - big and small - found 67 percent said they expected hiring plans to remain unchanged for the third quarter of the year (July, August and September) from the second quarter (April, May and June).
Fifteen percent anticipate an increase in staff and 13 percent expect to cut staff. Five percent of the employers surveyed say they are undecided.
Although Manpower Vice President Melanie Holmes would not speculate what the survey results mean for an economic recovery.
"We think it's positive that the [employment] data shows no further deterioration," she said.
The national survey shows employers in construction and in the wholesale and retail trade may see a "moderate" increase in hiring.
Education and Health Services and Government employers predict a slight decline in the pace of hiring. Seven of the 13 sectors surveyed said hiring would remain relatively stable.
Holmes said the survey results point to a "guarded optimism" among employers.
She says the latest U.S. government report on employment seems to indicate that employers' optimism is justified.
A report from the Labor Department Friday says the U.S. economy had a net loss of 345,000 jobs in May.
That is roughly half the average monthly number of jobs lost over the prior six months.
The high unemployment rate (9.4 percent in May) suggests that employers still are reluctant to hire new workers until there are more signs the recession is coming to an end.