Wichita-Area Employment Outlook Survey Released

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The employment outlook for the Wichita metro area is expected to be among the best in the nation according to a new survey.

After hearing of layoffs nearly every day somewhere in the country lately, a survey pointing to expected strong hiring in the area would definitely be good news. Unfortunately, caution must be added regarding the survey, because of when it was made.

In recent years, Wichita rode the wave of aviation expansion with hiring at all the assembly plants as well as the smaller supplier shops.

That helped fuel more hiring in service and retail areas. But when the sudden market downturn hit, it took companies weeks to assess the impact on their employment needs.

Local aircraft companies have announced 1,800 layoffs.

But just before that, the employment service company, Manpower, Inc., surveyed employers about hiring plans for the January through March time-period.

"At the time when they did this there had been a lot of things that happened in the economy and I still think in the mid-west. In this area our employment is decent looking other than what we're seeing in the aircraft industry right now," said John Weber, Manpower, Inc. Regional Director.

The survey of Wichita-area employers and their hiring plans in the January to March time period are as follows:

17% expect to increase staffs
5% expect to reduce staffs
76% expect to stay the same
3% are not certain

The survey also listed the best sectors for job prospects:

Durable Goods Manufacturing
Wholesale & Retail Trade
Transportation & Utilities
Financial Activities
Professional & Business Services
Leisure & Hospitality

Manpower acknowledges there have been some dramatic changes since the survey was taken, affecting their employment outlook. But they still think our area will be in better shape than others.

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