Job hunting? Look to Annapolis State capital has best economy, survey says


People looking for work this fall might want to head to Annapolis, according to a survey released this week that shows job prospects booming in the state capital.

More than 25 percent of employers in the Annapolis area plan to expand their businesses during October, November and December, while about 3 percent say they plan to scale back and about 71 percent say they will remain stable, a significant improvement over last year, when the economy was flat, according to Manpower Inc.'s quarterly Employment Outlook Survey.

"I would call Annapolis' economy significantly stronger than the overall national outlook, which is also growing, but not by leaps and bounds," said Mary B. Stewart, a public relations coordinator for Manpower, which has been tracking employers' plans for hiring and firing for 20 years.

"This is definitely not the '80s and the huge growth we saw then, but it is an improvement," Stewart said.

Twenty-three percent of employers statewide and 25 percent nationally plan to increase their work forces during the fourth quarter, according to the survey, which is based on telephone interviews with more than 16,000 public and private employers in 484 cities.

Manpower, a Milwaukee-based temporary-help business that operates in 41 countries, attributes some of the expected increase in year-end staffing to seasonal factors as retail companies gear up for the holidays and other industries slow down.

The forecast was nearly as favorable three months ago for Annapolis, when 26 percent of employers said they planned to increase their payrolls and 10 percent said they intended to reduce payrolls, Stewart said.

Last year at this time, 13 percent of Annapolis employers reported that they intended to add to their work forces.

"When I got here four months ago, the first thing I was told was that the economy was stagnant," said Rob F. Youngblood, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce for Greater Annapolis.

Since then, however, large retail franchises, including Best and Co., Best Buys, Home Depot and PetSmart, have opened.

"That is very encouraging," Youngblood said. "There is a general good feeling of the Annapolis economy right now."

There are more listings for full-time jobs in the local newspapers now than there were during the summer, he said.

Much of the change results from the variety of businesses in the area, said Leslie L. Hunt, communications manager for the Annapolis-area Manpower office.

"Annapolis is a bustling area with many companies, warehouses and technology," Hunt said. "There are plenty of jobs and a lot of demand for experienced office workers, and we're recruiting all the time for businesses looking for personnel."

Pub Date: 8/28/96

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