Jobs to pick up in 2011, analysts predict

Government, traditionally a bastion of secure employment, will shrink this year as budget-strapped state and local governments cut 1.1% of their payrolls, Moodys forecasts.

I learned its going to take a job to get a good job, he says.

Texas, whose oil industry and relatively unscathed housing sector minimized job losses and drew new residents in the downturn, should continue to be a jobs hot spot, with employment increasing 3.1%.

This tech-heavy state is poised to benefit from increased business-investment spending, its Asia-Pacific connections and increasing global demand for

Fast-growing companies in health care and technology are also ratcheting up staffing.

Where growth will be hottest

Chicagos poor economy and a deep-in-the-red state budget promise to slow Illinois jobs recovery. Downstate Illinois looks as good as neighboring Indiana and Iowa, but cant overcome Chicagos drag.

Getting that behind us gives me confidence when were looking at hiring, he says.

Reiner, who drew $50,000 from savings and virtually stopped eating out while he was unemployed, says, For several days it was like Christmas. Id gotten so used to driving past places where my wife and I used to be able to go.

And tiny B.A. Die Mold in Aurora, Ill., which makes moldings for cars and medical devices, expects to hire two to four workers in 2011, the first additions to its 17-employee staff in three years.

Through 2011, employers will add 183,000 jobs a month — vs. 94,000 a month in 2010, according to the average forecast of 28 economists surveyed by USA TODAY. Where will the jobs be? Almost everywhere.

The housing markets still in shambles, but the recoverys pace will outrun almost all states, thanks to tourism, trade and some business services. More people are moving here again, which will force homebuilders to hire, boosting construction jobs.

Moodys Analytics assesses the economic trends that will shape the job market in some states in 2011:

Meanwhile, firms that stayed profitable in the slump by slashing costs must now invest more of their record cash trove — $1.9 trillion for non-financial firms — to grow. They cant continue to maintain earnings growth by cutting costs, Zandi says.

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Yet the 2% payroll gains, though healthy, will be about half the additions that followed similarly severe recessions in the 1970s and 1980s. Even with the expected job growth, by ll employment will be down 5.1 million from its December 2007 peak.

Heady job growth in 2011, powered by a stronger than average rebound in housing-related industries, fewer expected foreclosures and a robust upturn in home building. Better-than-average income growth will drive more service jobs, especially in retail and leisure/entertainment.

FORECASTS FOR REBOUND: Map shows the latest outlook for all 50 states and 384 metro areas, by job sectors.

Even so, theres no question the 2011 job market looks more promising than last years halting comeback, especially with job growth building in the second half of this year. One reason: Businesses are simply growing less worried that another unforeseen calamity will derail the economic recovery — much as the European debt crisis curtailed surging job growth early last year.

Slow recoveries in construction and financial services are negating stronger performances in states tech industries. Real-estate related job losses will stop but easy access to credit and subprime mortgages, which made California golden before the recession, are largely missing.

The gains will touch every sector of the economy except government, generating low-wage retail and hotel jobs as well as higher-paying positions for accountants, engineers and architects.

It outperformed all other states during the recession and was first to resume expansion in 2010. Strong commodity prices, plus fiscally healthy state government, will fuel steady growth.

Were kind of riding this trend of quality health care, he says.

Forty-five percent of CEOs surveyed by the Business Roundtable late last year plan to increase hiring this year, up from 31% in the third quarter survey.

Still, most industries have little choice but to ramp up hiring. Union Pacific is spending a record $3.2 billion this year on capital investment, including 100 new locomotives and increased track capacity. Its 3,500 job additions will include electricians, mechanics and signal workers.

This years hiring should lower the 9.8% jobless rate to 8.9% or so by the end of the year, Moodys Analytics says. That would still leave about 13 million Americans jobless by years end and many economists say it will take at least five years for unemployment to return to its normal 5% to 6% rate.

Provide practical advice on how to get a job, how to find training, how to write a resume for the 21st century.

The economy, I believe, has bottomed out, Woudstra says.

Allied PhotoChemical of Kimball, Mich., which makes protective coatings, saw sales rise 47% last year and expects another 40% increase this year. But instead of adding an engineer, the company is paying student contractors from a local university engineering program to work on individual projects, CEO Michael Kelly says.

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The companys carload volumes rose 14% last year and it anticipates a smaller jump this year. But Young expects 3,000 of its 43,000 employees to retire this year after many put off retirement the past two years because spouses were laid off or the recession pummeled their retirement portfolios.

The focus of Americas Jobs 2011 will go beyond politics and policy, exploring the real-life impact of the changing labor market on our readers.

Southern and Midwestern manucturing strongholds that suffered big job losses, including Ohio, Michigan and Georgia, will grow jobs, although more slowly. So will Arizona and California, which were decimated by the housing crash and are still burdened by the real estate malaise.

For the first time since the Great Recession began more than three years ago, the job market is expected to show stronger gains in 2011 as consumers spend more and businesses cast off their hesitancy to hire. The government reported Friday that businesses added 103,000 jobs in December, fewer than expected, but the unemployment rate, calculated from a survey of households, unexpectedly sharnk from 9.8% to 9.4%.

Every state and 98% of the nations metro areas will see at least small job gains this year, according to an in-depth forecast by economic researchers Moodys Analytics. New Mexico, Florida and Texas will lead the way on a percentage basis, while New Jersey and Vermont are projected to see modest growth in jobs.

Union Pacific, the nations largest freight railroad, plans to hire 3,500 workers this year after reducing its workforce by 11,000 during the recession and adding just 1,600 jobs in 2010 despite strong revenue growth.

The recession didnt cut as deeply into the districts employment, leaving it better positioned for recovery.

Such prudence is leaving many job-seekers frustrated. Kathy Robinson, 53, of Holley, N.Y., has been looking for an accounting position since she was laid off in November 2009. Robinson, who handles accounts payable, says many companies have combined such jobs with higher-level accounting duties for which she isnt qualified.

Anecdotal evidence shows many employers are picking up the pace. Thirty-seven members of the Executive Network Group of Greater Chicago landed jobs in the 30 days ending Dec. 15, double the previous rate, group head Chris Campbell says.

Job postings recently were r more real than they had been, he says. Before, many employers really werent sure they wanted to go with the position.

Farmers Michigan hiring binge, which includes 500 new jobs this year, is providing work to a slew of unemployed residents in one of the states hit hardest by the downturn. Among them is Tom OBrien, who landed a job as a call center-rep last month, ending a demoralizing nine-month search since he left his position managing his milys delicatessen early last year because of a mily conflict.

People are starting to be interested in meeting me, Sykes says.

Its strong economy made it a magnet for job-hunters and the population growth itself is creating more jobs. Strong exports, popularity among relocating companies, stellar credit quality and elevated oil prices all position Texas for above-average growth.

All three companies say theyre feeling increasingly confident in the economic recovery and need to add workers to grow. All six of my business groups are seeing a pickup, Union Pacific CEO Jim Young says. To me that says theres some legs to the recovery.

Brittany Sykes, who is seeking a public relations job after graduating from Penn State University in May, got no responses to the 70 resumes she sent last spring and summer. But the Harrisburg, Pa., resident had two interviews and several less formal get-togethers with employers in New York City last month.

Its climbing out of a deeper hole than most states, a big reason Idahos jobs recovery will also be above average. Pulling it up: A healthy semiconductor business, established food manucturing and an export recovery will create more manucturing jobs. Population growth likely to rise as national recovery gets people moving again.

The warming hiring climate means even those still job-hunting are getting more nibbles.

Exports, technology-producing industries, and stronger tourism will drive New EnglandsJobs to pick up in 2011, analysts predict economy. Its housing market, one of the first to stumble in 2005, will be among the first to stabilize in 2011.

I just wish theyd start creating jobs, she says.

With lenders tight-fisted, We decided to conserve cash, he says. Id rather be prepared for the worst.

Manucturing, which lost 2.2 million jobs in the slump — about 16% of its workforce — is projected to grow a more modest 1.2%. Thats still noteworthy for an industry that has been shrinking for decades because of automation and the loss of jobs to nations where production costs are lower.

What businesses went through was pretty wrenching, says Mark Zandi, chief economist of Moodys Anaeastern health job postingslytics. That nightmare will de.

Economy has bottomed out

s boat, supporting the plans of Oregons biggest private employer for a new plant. But state and local government budget woes are working against Oregons overall economic recovery.

Farmers Insurance stayed profitable in the recession by cutting staff and it kept employment flat last year. Now, the firm, among the leading insurance carriers in many of its western markets, must infiltrate the eastern U.S. to boost revenue, says CEO Robert Woudstra. Its also aiming to take advantage of surging auto sales.

Young says he was further heartened by the tax-cut package.

Yet with unemployment high, businesses continue to be picky, holding out for the ideal candidate, says Roy Krause, CEO of placement firm Spherion. That helps explain why government data show job openings still rising r more sharply than hirings.

Farmers Insurance, the nations third-leading writer of home and auto insurance, is adding 1,600 call-center jobs in Grand Rapids, Mich., during the next three years as it expands in eastern states.

Further bolstering business confidence is the tax-cut deal passed by Congress, which maintains lower rates and cuts payroll taxes to spur consumer spending.

Moodys predicts the biggest beneficiaries of the payroll gains will be the leisure and hospitality industry as consumers open their wallets wider; professional and businesses services, a broad category that includes lawyers, accountants and temporary workers; and eventually, construction, as housing supplies dwindle. Each is expected to increase employment about 3.7% in the 12 months ending Sept. 30. Education and health services are projected to grow 2.9%.

Nevadas tourism and gaming industries will see significant jobs growth as the national recovery picks up steam. But very high foreclosure numbers will continue to crowd out residential housing construction, keeping the brakes on near-term growth.

Thats a big improvement, but it underscores that job gains wont be roaring because many companies remain cautious and are holding down costs.

Companies that combined jobs in computers and finance, for example, are finding that they now must hire, says Brett Good, a district president for staffing firm Robert Half International. Some (positions) were held together with gray tape, he says.

At the same time, productivity gains that let employers wring more from fewer employees are petering out. And credit conditions are easing a bit for small businesses, which create two-thirds of new jobs in an upswing.

Best Doctors, which helps employers make sure workers receive the correct diagnoses, plans to hire at least 100 this year — largely in marketing, information technology and administration, company President Evan Falchuk says. The company added 68 in 2010.

Unemployed Americans are feeling the improvement. Rick Reiner, 54, of Clarendon Hills, Ill., lost his job as operations vice president for a maker of scientific analytical equipment in May 2009. After getting about three interviews the first 12 months No Comments, he landed a job as operations manager for an energy equipment maker in October.

Staffing firm Manpower says conversions of temporary workers to permanent staffers rose about 10% in the third quarter, up from about 4% the previous quarter. Companies so r have relied more heavily on temporary workers to meet growing demand and have been slow to convert them to staffers. Manpower CEO Jeff Joerres also says last years burst in ctory hiring is spreading to office and professional workers, including accountants, graphic artists and computer professionals.

Other areas, such as South Dakota, Massachusetts and Washington, D.C., will add jobs at a more modest pace because they lost fewer in the downturn.

And jobs in real-estate related sectors, such as construction and commercial banking, continue to be scarce, says David Hoffman, CEO of executive search firm DHR International.

The Lowell, Mich., resident sent out more than 200 resumes, mostly for food-service jobs but had few responses. Then, he heard about Farmers November job ir. Hell be starting at $30,000 a year, r less than the $75,000 he earned in the deli. But hed like to get a masters in management and move up.

Some states hammered by the housing crisis will be big job-gainers, Moodys says. It forecasts that Floridas healthy tourism industry and recovering construction industry will help power a 3.2% increase in payrolls in the Sunshine State by ll.

Offer the latest analysis of workforce issues, along with regional reports and examinations of the long-term jobless.

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