A growing number of Iowa business owners are confident about boosting their staffing levels in the coming months according to a new survey from Manpower, Incorporated.

 Karen Miller, Executive Vice-President at Manpower in Des Moines, says 22% of the Iowa employers surveyed plan to hire new employees in the second quarter of 2012. Four-percent plan decreases in staff levels, resulting in a “Net Employment Outlook” of 18%.

“That’s significantly different than last year at this time – which was a 10% (outlook),” Miller said. The 18% Net Employment Outlook for Iowa remains much higher than the national figure of 10%. “We seem to be in a bubble of prosperity here in the state of Iowa,” Miller said. “That’s good news for both employers and job seekers.” The top job prospects in Iowa, according to the survey, include positions in construction.

Employers also plan to increase staffing levels in the areas of durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation and utilities, wholesale and retail trade, and financial and business services. More than 18,000 employers are surveyed in the U.S. as part of the quarterly Manpower report.

A new report on Iowa’s unemployment rate is due later this morning from the Iowa Workforce Development agency.