A new report indicates Iowa employers plan to hire at a “steady pace” over the first quarter of 2014. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey shows 71-percent of the Iowa companies surveyed plan to maintain their current staffing levels. Karen Miller is a spokesperson for Manpower. “From January to March, 18-percent of the companies that we interviewed plan to hire more employees, which is positive…except we have about 10-percent that expect to reduce their payrolls,” Miller says.

The survey’s net employment outlook for Iowa for the first three months of 2014 is 8-percent. That’s down from 11-percent in the fourth quarter 2013 survey. At that time, 21-percent of Iowa employers expected to hire more workers while 10-percent planned layoffs. Miller says it’s not unusual for job prospects to weaken over the first few months of a new year.

In fact, the Manpower survey in Iowa from one year ago also had a net employment outlook of 8-percent. Nationwide, more than 18,000 companies were interview as part of the Q1-2014 Manpower survey. Seventeen-percent of U.S. employers plan to add staff between January and March, while 7-percent expect to decrease staff levels. The Manpower report claims the “best states for jobs” include North Dakota, Florida, and Texas.