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Published: Tuesday, 9/11/2007

Toledo area looking good for job seekers

Metro Toledo ranks among the best cities in the state in terms of hiring for the October through December period in a new survey.

Adding workers is expected by 37 percent of area firms and cutting payroll is planned by 3 percent of companies in the fourth quarter of the year, better than the 33 percent expecting to hire and 10 percent to trim jobs for the same period a year ago, according to Manpower Inc.'s quarterly employment survey released today.

"It surprises me," said Larry Less, a labor economist with the state Department of Job and Family Services. "I wouldn't expect it to be better than a year ago."

The results, he said, may reflect what types of businesses Manpower surveyed.

The survey shows Toledo better than or equal to the hiring plans in 16 other metro areas in Ohio. Only Cincinnati, with 43 percent of employers expecting to hire and 10 percent to reduce staff, seemed better. The statewide average was 20 percent to add staff and 9 percent to reduce workers.

Nationally, Manpower found 27 percent of companies anticipate hiring and 9 percent plan to chop staff for the end of the year quarter. Locally, the temporary staffing agency said job prospects appear best in construction, manufacturing, transportation and utilities, and wholesale and retail trade.

Ken Mayland, of ClearView Economics LLC near Cleveland, is inclined to believe the results for Toledo, but he added: "It's not as if it's written in granite."

Elsewhere in northwest Ohio, the area faring worst in the Manpower survey was Defiance, with only 7 percent forecasting hiring and 17 percent planning staff cuts. Experts could not explain those the results.

Also, the survey found 37 percent plan to hire and 7 percent to cut jobs in Findlay and 30 percent to hire and 3 percent to cut in Lima.

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