Iowa employers anticipate hiring to increase in first half of 2014

DES MOINES (MCT) — Major employers across Iowa will be looking to add workers in the next six months, according to the latest six-month forecast from the Des Moines-based Iowa Business Council.

IBC, comprising CEO’s of Iowa’s 25 largest employers, issued a “cautious yet positive” forecast for the next six months Monday.

The IBC’s Overall Economic Outlook Survey Index was 62 — one point higher than last quarter and the same as one year ago.

Eighty-five percent of survey respondents expect hiring levels for the next six months to remain steady or grow, and half expect increases.

“That employment number really jumped, so I think that really gives one hope for a solid start to the beginning of the new year,” IBC Executive Director Elliott Smith said. “Maybe that indicates employers are gaining a little optimism and hope that the progress we’ve seen since the recession is gaining some momentum.”

There are no guarantees, though, he said.

“There could be some things that throw some sticks into the spokes, depending on what happens in Washington and a minimum of international incidents and flare-ups,” he said. “But, if you keep pedaling ahead, you could see some good things in 2014.”

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