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Published: Tuesday, 3/15/2005

Survey calls job outlook in Toledo area weak

Lack of hiring, the bugaboo in the local economy since the 2001 recession, apparently will continue to stymie job seekers this spring.

A quarterly hiring survey released today by Manpower Inc., a national temporary-staffing firm, shows that the same proportion of Toledo area firms that expect to hire from April to June also expect to cut workers.

Twenty-three percent plan to hire, 23 percent anticipate job cuts.

Manpower calls the Toledo employment outlook "one of the weakest in the nation."

The local results significantly lag the national results, where 30 percent of the 16,000 firms surveyed anticipate hiring and just 7 percent plan to trim jobs.

The Toledo-area results also are much dimmer than local forecasts for the January to March quarter, when 27 percent said they would hire and 10 percent would reduce payroll.

For the April-June period last year, the same survey found 40 percent planned to hire, the most positive outlook at the time in more than a year, and 10 percent expected to cut.

Ken Mayland, a Cleveland-area economist, said he is skeptical of the accuracy of such surveys, but said, "What this does underscore and confirms is the indication that Ohio, not just Toledo, is lagging the progress seen with the whole U.S. economy."

Elsewhere in the region, Manpower found that in Defiance, 27 percent of employers plan to hire in the April-June period compared with 10 percent cutting workers; in Findlay, 13 percent plan to hire and none to cut; in Lima, 27 percent expect to hire and 3 percent to cut; and in Sandusky, 30 percent plan to hire and none to cut.

Statewide, the survey found 26 percent said they would hire and 8 percent would cut.

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