Hiring in the financial industry during the third quarter is expected to remain stable compared with the second quarter, according to a report to be issued today by Manpower Inc.
"I don't see a major drop-off coming," Jeffrey A. Joerres, Manpower's chairman and chief executive officer, said in an interview Friday. "I see more of an adjustment in the finance, insurance, and real estate area."
The industry's seasonally adjusted net employment outlook - companies planning to hire minus those expecting layoffs in the third quarter - was up 16%, versus 17% for the second quarter and 23% for last year's third quarter, when the outlook peaked at 23%.
Manpower's quarterly Employment Outlook Survey found that 22% of the sector's employers planned to increase staffing, 6% planned to reduce it, and 67% expected to keep it stable in the third quarter. In the survey on expectations for the second quarter, 24% said they planned to increase staffing, 6% planned to reduce it, and 65% expected to keep it stable.
The financial industry continues to adjust employment to cope with the downturn in the mortgage industry and the flat yield curve.
First Horizon National Corp. of Memphis said June 5 that in July it would unveil a $140 million efficiency plan including cutting jobs, consolidating operations, and closing some branches and mortgage offices. The company wants to outsource up to 5% of its work force, or about 600 jobs.
Washington Mutual Inc. is closing subprime loan fulfillment centers in Itasca, Ill., and Dublin, Calif., and eliminating about 210 jobs, a spokeswoman said in an e-mail Friday.
The Seattle thrift company is hiring in other segments of its business but continues to shrink its subprime operations because of weakness in that market, she wrote.
Citigroup Inc. is in the middle of an extensive restructuring. Unveiled in April, the plan to streamline procurement and back-office operations includes cutting 17,000 jobs in the United States and in foreign markets.
"The Northeast is pretty tough right now," Mr. Joerres said. "Some of the major banks are doing some pretty major restructuring.
"The South and West are doing better, but it is kind of on the margin. It's still a weaker industry compared to something like manufacturing, which is more stabilized, but clearly not as weak as construction or retail."