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SOUTHLAND BUSINESS

Office Hiring on the Rise

January 05, 1986|JEFF ROWE

If office hiring is an indication, California's economy may turn out just fine in 1986. According to a recent survey, 28% of California businesses anticipate increasing their office staff during the first six months of this year while 66% expect employment levels to remain the same and just 6% project a decrease.

The survey was commissioned by Thomas Services Inc., an Irvine-based temporary help service. A total of 1,543 companies were polled by the Marketing Consortium Inc., a San Diego-based company.

"The future employment picture looks positive throughout the state as significant numbers of businesses predict increases in both permanent and temporary office staffing during the next six months," said Kim Megonigal, president of Thomas Services. The greatest increase in hiring is expected in the San Fernando and San Gabriel valleys, where 51% of those surveyed plan to add to office staff. Other areas where increases in office staff are projected to run ahead of the state average include Orange County, San Diego and Oakland.

Jerry Shea, analyst with the California Employment Development Department in Los Angeles, said one reason for the project hiring increase in the San Gabriel and San Fernando Valleys is that the two areas have a "healthy industrial mix." The regions in which hiring is expected to fall below the state average still are largely agricultural and do not have large commercial segments.

The Bakersfield and Oxnard/Ventura areas are expected to experience an increase in office staffs, but not as great as the state overall.

Although demand will be strongest for typists, no significant reductions are projected for any one category of office worker, Megonigal said.

About half of the companies surveyed said they fill their office staff vacancies through classified newspaper advertising. About 25% said they use employment agencies.

Areas with the highest pay for office workers will be Los Angeles and Orange counties and the San Francisco Bay area. Areas with lower salary ranges for office workers will be Riverside and San Diego counties. "Wages for various skills vary widely from one part of the state to the next, due sometimes to local economic factors but often to the areas' demand for specific skills," said Kathy Hoenisch, a Thomas vice president.

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