SURVEY: Nearly 1 in 4 Volusia-Flagler employers plans to add jobs

SURVEY: Nearly 1 in 4 Volusia-Flagler employers plans to add jobs

Published: Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 3:37 p.m.

DAYTONA BEACH — Nearly one out of four employers — 24 percent — in the Volusia-Flagler area expect to add workers this spring, according to a new survey.

Conversely, only 2 percent expect to lay off workers in the April through June period, according to the latest quarterly survey by national staffing agency Manpower Inc.

That 22 percent “net employment” forecast for “Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach” is tied with seven other metro areas for 26th highest in the nation, according to the report.

In Florida, only Lakeland and Miami had higher net employment forecasts for the second quarter — 23 percent, two of 13 metro areas tied for 13th highest in the country.

While the net employment forecast for the “Deltona” area, which covers Volusia and Flagler counties, is down from 26 percent in Manpower’s forecast a year ago, the percentage of employers expecting to maintain staff levels rose to 72 percent, up from 65 percent a year ago.

“I am encouraged,” said Lisa Hancock, Manpower’s Central Florida market vice president, of the increased stability in employment levels.

The unemployment rates in both Volusia and Flagler counties have steadily declined in recent years, according to the most recent Florida Department of Economic Opportunity data. Volusia’s jobless rate improved to 5 percent in December, while Flagler ended the year at 5.5 percent. During the recession, Volusia’s unemployment rate soared to 12.8 percent, while Flagler’s rate peaked at 15.2 percent, highest in the state.

Hancock, who lives in DeBary, said Manpower’s Volusia-Flagler office in Holly Hill has seen more businesses seeking to fill service positions. Demand is also up for skilled trades workers, such as machinists, welders and carpenters.

Many of the workers Manpower farms out are on a potential temp-to-permanent hire basis, Hancock said. “They (employers) like the try ’em before you buy ’em model,” she said. “Hiring would be greater if there were more skilled workers. If we had 10 more, we’d place them today.”

Hancock said she did not know how many Volusia-Flagler employers were surveyed, but believed the number was around 100.

“We’ve had some false starts” in terms of employers in past surveys saying they intended to add jobs, but not actually doing so, Hancock acknowledged, however, the Volusia-Flagler hiring forecasts the past three quarters have proven fairly accurate, she said.

One employer adding jobs is DuvaSawko, an Ormond Beach provider of medical billing and coding services for emergency department physicians.

DuvaSawko, which employs 240 workers, added 21 in the past year and expects to hire 42 more in coming months, said spokeswoman Joanne Manser. DuvaSawko is not a Manpower client.

DuvaSawko is one of several employers set to take part in the Spring Career Fair at Daytona State College’s Daytona Beach campus Wednesday as well as The News-Journal’s Mega Job Fair March 15 at the News-Journal Center performing arts complex in downtown Daytona Beach, she said.

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