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Hiring languishes in region

Employer survey finds skilled trades in short supply

Hoosier companies won’t run out of “Help Wanted” signs during the fourth quarter, based on the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today.

From October to December, 15 percent of the firms stated they intend to bring on more people, while 10 percent likely will reduce staffing. Most companies – 74 percent – expect to maintain current staff levels.

And 1 percent of them don’t know what they’re going to do. The survey has a margin of error of plus or minus 0.61 percentage points. There were 282 Indiana businesses polled.

“It’s the same old thing: skilled trades,” said Joel Daas, area manager with Manpower staffing in Fort Wayne. “Companies are having a difficult time finding machine operators, electrical maintenance workers and welders.”

Daas said business owners, however, must do their part to attract and retain employees.

“It’s not always about the money,” he said. “Benefits, flexible work schedules and other perks are important to people.”

A fostering corporate culture plays a role as well, Daas said. He pointed to Edy’s Grand Ice Cream’s $4.5 million expansion that included a renovated cafeteria and new men’s and women’s locker rooms.

“It’s pretty snazzy,” Daas said. “That matters, because workers want to know if you’re willing to invest in them.”

Meanwhile, Frontier Communications Corp. on Monday said it will host a job fair from 7 to 9 p.m. Thursday at its central region headquarters, 8001 W. Jefferson Blvd.

Frontier is looking to fill 55 full-time residential sales and service consultant positions, officials said.

The employment expo is mostly the result of worker turnover.

“That’s the trouble,” Daas said. “These are replacements and not new jobs.”

Manpower spokesman Pat Hevrdejs said hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are weaker than the previous one.

“The … outlook is declining compared to the third quarter when the net employment outlook was 13 percent,” he said in a statement. “Employer confidence about hiring is also falling compared with one year ago when the net employment outlook was 11 percent.”