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County's Hiring Decline Will Ease Up, Survey Says

September 07, 1993|Jack Searles

The hiring slump will ease in Ventura County this fall, but it won't disappear, according to the Manpower Inc. survey of companies' staffing plans.

The study shows that 17% of the county's largest employers plan to increase their payrolls while 20% forecast layoffs. The remainder expect to maintain current levels.

This is an improvement over the previous quarter, when 13% expected to create more jobs and 37% predicted layoffs.

Most hiring in the next three months will be holiday-related, Manpower said, but the quarter will still represent an improvement in the year-earlier period, when only 10% of the county's top firms predicted increased payrolls and 24% planned layoffs.

Jamshid Damooei, an economics professor at Cal Lutheran University in Thousand Oaks, isn't surprised at the survey's finding that further cutbacks are in store for the construction and durable-goods manufacturing industries, while the outlook for sales and service employment is mixed.

"Largely because of defense cutbacks, Ventura County's traditionally strong manufacturing sector is on the decline," he said. "As for construction, it's down because of the recession and also because of the changing nature of the county economy."

The county is switching from a manufacturing-dominated economy to one that is service-oriented, Damooei noted.

"Service-related jobs tend to pay less than those in manufacturing. Since service workers are less able to buy homes, that doesn't bode well for housing construction."

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