About one-third of the employers in 11 of Iowa’s largest cities plan to add to their workforces between July and September. That’s according to the third quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released this morning. Michael Lynch is a spokesperson for Manpower. He says the survey shows 33-percent of the employers surveyed plan to increase staff during the third quarter of the year, while 7-percent are expecting to reduce their workforces.

Iowa’s numbers are slightly better than the overall U.S. outlook. Of the 14,000 U.S. employers surveyed by Manpower Inc., 26-percent expect to increase their workforces while 10-percent plan to scale back. In Iowa, only the surveyed companies in Marshalltown projected a net decrease (-4%) in overall workforce numbers.

Lynch says says the Iowa City, Quad Cities, Muscatine, Waterloo and Sioux City markets have particularly positive employment outlooks. "Really the entire state looks good with the exception of the Marshalltown area," Lynch said. Fifty-three percent of the companies surveyed in Muscatine plan to add workers. Many employers plan to add jobs in other cities; Burlington (32%), Cedar Rapids (24%), Des Moines (27%), Iowa City (38%), Quad Cities (37%), Mason City (20%), Ottumwa (33%), Sioux City (43%) and Waterloo (40%). Lynch says it’s difficult to pinpoint one reason for the optimistic outlook.

"For instance, looking at the Des Moines area, it appears that the construction trades, transportation and public utilities and the wholesale/retail sector all plan on increasing staff, while only non-durable goods manufacturing is looking at decreases. It’s really kind of spread out and it’s not a real dramatic increase, yet it’s still an increase," Lynch said. Statewide, 58-percent of Iowa companies plan "no change" in employment numbers in the third quarter while two-percent "don’t know."