Uptick Expected In BankEmployment

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CHICAGO - (02/15/05) -- Grant Thornton's Twelfth AnnualSurvey of Community Bank Executives has found that bankers onceagain anticipate increasing the number of employees in the comingyear, with 51% planning on increasing employee headcount in 2005.The survey also shows that essentially most (93%) community bankerssee "retaining key employees" as important to continued success. Inaddition, almost half (45%) expect no changes in the number ofemployees; and only 4% of bankers foresee a decrease inheadcount.

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