Manatee, Sarasota employees hiring or plan to in 2013 [The Bradenton Herald]
(Bradenton Herald (FL) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Jan. 04--MANATEE -- Hiring was up across the nation in December, and there were fewer layoffs and cutbacks, new data released Thursday shows.
Those trends were reflected in Manatee and Sarasota where a number of local employers say they are hiring and expect to continue through 2013.
The Pittsburgh Pirates, health telecommunications company Voalte, Verizon and Manatee Memorial Hospital all say they are hiring.
A private survey shows U.S. businesses sharply increased hiring in December, helped by a surge of new construction jobs to help rebuild from Superstorm Sandy.Payroll processor ADP said Thursday that employers added 215,000 jobs in December. That's more than November's total of 148,000, which was revised higher.The survey showed companies added 39,000 construction jobs last month. That was partly in response to the storm, but also an indication of the housing recovery under way.
In Florida, hiring numbers have been going up. In November, the latest numbers available, new hires were 1,741 compared to 1,396 in October.
After three consecutive months of increased layoff activity, the number of planned job cuts announced in December plunged to 32,556, the second-lowest monthly total of 2012, a report from global outplacement consulting firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas showed Thursday.
And 2012 ended with the lowest 12-month job-cut total since 1997, the report said.
The new data "bodes well for our labor market," said University of Central Florida economist Sean Snaith. "If we can continue to build
on that momentum it will be good."
Last month's state's unemployment dropped by four-tenths of a percent. In Manatee, the jobless rate was 8.1 percent, down from 8.3 percent.
Voalte CEO Rob Campbell said his company will likely hire an additional 100 people in 2013 to accommodate the quadruple growth the medical telecommunication company experienced in 2012, when it expanded its 25-employee staff to 50.
The biggest problem for the company right now is finding the right labor pool for the specialized computer software designer and engineering jobs open, he said.
"We actually recruit globally," Campbell said.
Manatee Memorial Hospital has been actively hiring since last spring for more than 100 nursing openings, said hospital spokesman Vernon DeSear.
"Our patient census has been so high this year, it usually drops in the summer, but not this year," he said. That has meant an average of 250 to 260 patients a day for acute care beds. The hospital's capacity is 275 to 280 and on Thursday it hit 286.
"When that happens, we have to hold some in the emergency department until space is available," DeSear said.
The Pittsburgh Pirates are in the middle of two job fairs to hire seasonal and part-time workers and expect to hire an additional 50 people this year, said Trevor Gooby.
In 2013, the baseball team also will add four to 10 full-time employees, split between Pirate City and McKechnie Field, Gooby said.
With the $10 million expansion project, the stadium will now seat 8,500, an increase of 2,000 seats. More seats translate into more fans which translate into more employees.
And though local employment numbers still don't reflect much growth in construction -- the local industry hardest hit from the recession -- some say things are moving in the right direction.
"We were hiring all of last year which was a pleasant surprise, said President and CEO David Sessions of Willis A. Smith Construction, a manager of commercial construction. "We are taking a pause right now to see where the momentum is."
But Sessions, who said the company grew its revenue from $50 million to $70 million in 2012, believes the company will continue to hire in 2013.
"It is nice to see things moving forward again," he said.
(c)2013 The Bradenton Herald (Bradenton, Fla.)
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