Local employers forecast strong 4th quarter

Although the stock market has rocked investors confidence in the past week, employers in Wisconsin and Illinois are remarkably confident about their own prospects for the fourth quarter, according to the latest QPS Employment Forecasting Survey.
QPS, a Brookfield-based staffing company, reported that 38 percent of employers expect their business to improve in the fourth quarter, while only 16 percent expect declines and 47 percent think it will remain the same.
In the survey, 39 percent expect to increase their hiring in the fourth quarter, while only 8 percent expect declines in staffing and 53 percent will remain the same.
QPS surveyed more than 225 companies including manufacturers, banks, printers, distributors and information technology firms throughout Wisconsin and Illinois as part of its employment forecasting survey.
“Our findings indicate that the local economy is growing, even though the national economy is experiencing a plateau,” said Dan McNulty, QPS chief operating officer. “Our survey captures data from small-to-medium sized business, which typically start the economic engines.”
When asked what positions are the most difficult to fill, 21 percent replied entry-level general labor. “Companies are still struggling to find quality employees,” McNulty said. “While it is no surprise that skilled labor is challenging to find, the rise in difficulty with general labor positions is something to keep an eye on. With a large pool of candidates collecting unemployment, employers need to consider the expenses associated with having a job, like child care and fuel costs, when deciding on wages. If the position pays less than unemployment, candidates may be weary of accepting the offer.”
The shortage of qualified applicants is prompting 24 percent of employers to say they will increase the wages paid in the fourth quarter, while only 2 percent expect to cut wages, and 73 percent will remain the same.

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