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Bob says new job creation is sparking hiring trend: More Businesses Expressing Intent to Hire This Y

Economic reforms in Washington, D.C., may incentivize companies to continue this trend

More businesses are expressing their intent to hire new workers this year, according to a survey from Express Employment Professionals. The group asked nearly 2,000 businesses whether they planned to hire workers in the first quarter of 2017 and whether these employees would fill existing or new positions.

Seventy-six percent of businesses said they planned to hire workers during this time, which is an increase from the 72 percent that said so in the last quarter. It is also a jump from the first quarter of 2016 when 69 percent of businesses said they planned to hire new workers. Only 9 percent of businesses said they planned on eliminating positions this year.

According to the survey, 32 percent of jobs created will be in general labor, 26 percent will be skilled-labor jobs, and 20 percent will be administrative and office jobs. For those businesses hiring in the general labor sector, 34 percent plan to create new positions. "These are certainly positive signs," said Bob Funk, CEO of Express Employment Professionals and a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank in Kansas City. "It's also encouraging to see so many respondents planning to create new positions."

"The fact is, during the last few years, even though businesses have been hiring more workers, jobs weren't being created fast enough," Funk said. For instance, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics released Wednesday, from June 2015 to June 2016, the number of private sector job gains declined from 7,588,000 to 7,463,000—a decline of 125,000.

The number of job losses during that same time frame increased from 6,773,000 in June of 2015 to 7,156,000 in June of 2016, an increase of 383,000. According to Funk, if new leadership in Washington, D.C., increases positive economic reforms, it may incentivize businesses to continue the trend of hiring more.

"We just might pick up the pace in 2017," he said.

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