Employers are painting an optimistic picture for employment trends in the first quarter of 2011, according to the most recent Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, a quarterly survey designed to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter.

Of the 18,000 employers surveyed throughout the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S., “14% anticipate an increase in staff levels in their first quarter 2011 hiring plans, while 10% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of +4%.” Seasonally adjusted, that outlook hops up to +9%.

According to the survey, Louisiana’s employment outlook is the best in the nation, followed by Wyoming, South Dakota, Oklahoma, and Vermont.

“Employers in Louisiana expect to hire at an active pace during the first quarter of 2011,” says the Manpower press release.

To start your search for jobs in a specific state, visit MuniNetGuide’s index of Jobs by State. (See sidebar for more information about how MuniNet can be a great resource for finding jobs by industry or city).

The Manpower survey also examines trends by industry sector. Of the 13 industry sectors included in the survey, 11 have a positive outlook for the first quarter of 2011. These include:

  • Leisure and hospitality
  • Professional and business services
  • Information
  • Wholesale and retail trade
  • Mining
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing
  • Nondurable goods manufacturing
  • Education and health services
  • Other services
  • Financial activities
  • Transportation and utilities

Only one sector – Construction – reported a negative employment outlook, while one sector – Government – anticipated flat hiring.

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