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Employers Expected to Add Boston Jobs

Posted on March 16, 2010

Boston jobs are expected to increase across several industries over the next few months, according to a survey by Manpower Inc., the national staffing agency.

Manpower’s quarterly report found 20 percent of Greater Boston employers expect to increase hiring in the three-month period that begins in April, up from 13 percent in the previous three months, and 12 percent from a year ago. Meanwhile, fewer employers expect to cut jobs in the next quarter – only 7 percent, compared with 13 percent in the previous quarter and 18 percent a year ago.

“Hiring levels in our area appear to be considerably stronger,’’ said Susan Fontana, a Manpower spokeswoman. “Employers are also much more optimistic about hiring activity.’’

According to Boston.com, state employment data released last week also suggested hiring might start to pick up. Massachusetts employers added 400 jobs in January, the first net gain in 18 months, the Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development reported. Meanwhile, key employment sectors, such as technology and health care, posted job growth in January, the state reported.

The Manpower survey is based on interviews with 18,000 employers in the nation’s top 200 metropolitan areas. Most Boston-area employers, 69 percent, said they expect to hold employment levels steady in coming months, according to the survey.

Nationally, 16 percent of employers expect to increase hiring in the next quarter; 8 percent expect to cut payrolls; and 73 percent said they plan to maintain current staffing, according to Manpower.

Over the next three months, hiring is expected to pick up in several sectors in Greater Boston, including professional and business services, education and health services, and leisure and hospitality, according to Manpower. Wholesale and retail trade, construction, and financial services, which have been largely cutting jobs over the past year, expect little change in hiring.