Employers in Arizona expect to hire at a steady pace during the third quarter of 2012, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Among survey participants, the Arizona employment outlook is one of the weakest in the nation.

From July to September, 19 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 10 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 68 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of 9 percent.

“Employers’ hiring plans for Quarter 3 2012 are more sluggish compared to Quarter 2 2012 when the Net Employment Outlook was 15 percent,” said Manpower spokesperson Sunny Ackerman. “Compared to one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 8%, employers are similarily positive about their staffing plans.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Durable Goods Manufacturing, Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Education and Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services and Government. Hiring in Construction and Transportation & Utilities is expected to remain unchanged.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed in the United States, 21 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 6 percent expect a decline in their payrolls during Quarter 3 2012. Seventy-one percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining two percent of employers are undecided about their hiring plans. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is +11 percent, similar to the Quarter 2 2012 Net Employment Outlook of +10 percent.

For more information on the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, visit Manpower’s website at manpowergroup.com/press/meos_landing.cfm.