The Business Journal surveyed the North Bay’s largest staffing companies plus jobs and economic forecaster TrimTabs Investment Research in Santa Rosa for their outlook on 2011.
Alkar Human ResourcesJason Lewis, controller
1. What is the outlook for employment for 2011? I expect employment next year in the Sonoma-Marin-Napa area to be relatively flat, with a maximum uptick of 2 percent to 3 percent. California will continue to lag behind the rest of the United States, and I think that the chances of a wide-spread double-dip recession are negligible. However, some sectors will see no growth or sustained contraction due to past over-production.
2. Where do you think growth will be? Growth will be primarily in the clerical, hospitality and professional sectors. The construction, finance and winery sectors will continue to suffer from high levels of inventory and will continue to face pricing pressures until the over-supply is reduced.
Kreuzberger AssociatesNeil Kreuzberger, president and founder
1. What is the outlook for employment for 2011? We are seeing gradual improvement across many industry sectors, even in some areas focused in real estate. Still, companies appear cautious and mindful of expense management and risk considerations. While equity markets report robust numbers and holiday consumer spending is looking strong, the underlying economy continues to rebound rather slowly.
2. Where do you think growth will be? Growth in Northern California is being led by technology companies and financial services. Technology, including new technology focused on green solutions, rebounded first. Now we’re seeing strong indicators that financial services firms are hiring, especially in the regulatory compliance and risk management arenas. We also expect to see firms using more contract hiring to supplement or backfill their full-time staffing requirements.
3. Is there anything you would like to add? After two years of dampened expectations, we believe the worst is over. However, we don’t expect unemployment to change precipitously or significantly until market demand for goods and services shows a consistent positive trend. Our firm is in this area and in this business for the long run, so we have stayed extra close to our clients and the many candidates in our network through the downturn. We hear anecdotal stories about good outcomes every day, so we are optimistic that increased hiring and job opportunities will continue to develop over the next year.
1. What is the outlook for employment for 2011? Reporting the most optimistic hiring expectations in more than two years, U.S. employers anticipate small staffing gains for Quarter 1 2011, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc. The adjusted Outlook for Quarter 1 2011 is +9 percent, up from +5 percent during the same period last year and +5 percent during Quarter 4 2010. Despite positive signals, the Quarter 1 2011 Outlook is nearly five percentage points below the average Outlook from 2001 to 2010.
Employers in 11 of the 13 industry sectors surveyed have a positive Outlook for Quarter 1 2011: Leisure & Hospitality (+12 percent), Professional & Business Services (+11 percent), Information (+10 percent), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+10 percent), Mining (+6 percent), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+6 percent), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+6 percent), Education & Health Services (+6 percent), Other Services (+4 percent), Financial Activities (+4 percent) and Transportation & Utilities (+2 percent).