A survey conducted and released in early June by Manpower, Inc., named the Virginia Beach metropolitan area as one of the top locations for summer employment. The survey found that “as many as 20% of employers [who participated in the survey] plan to staff up in the spring.” Of those who responded, their staffing plans yielded a “Net Employment Outlook” of 19%, drastically higher than last year’s 1% increase in employment and also higher than the nation’s “Net Employment Outlook” of 10%.
The survey was conducted in response to the bleak labor market that has impacted the nation recently. Eighteen thousand employers in 100 regions across the country were surveyed. According to Forbes.com, “Across all regions of the U.S., employers expect an increase in hiring compared with a year ago… the Virginia Beach metropolitan area is [an] economy with a wide range of strong industries.”
Manpower’s President of the Americas, Jonas Prising, said the survey results showed a “positive trend in employer’s hiring plans.” Prising also said, “Although we are still facing a difficult labor market, more employers indicate confidence about the direction of their businesses, and with that comes an intention to increase their workforces. We are in the early stages of the jobs recovery and although we have a long way to go, the job market will continue to improve.”
Hampton Roads’ presence as one of the East Coast’s busiest sea ports, the many military bases and shipyards, the four Fortune 500 companies and the large tourism industry are all factors in this summer employment opportunity survey. The tourism industry in Hampton Roads is doing so well that in June Travel + Leisure magazine named the Virginia Beach Boardwalk as one of “America’s Best Beach Boardwalks.”
Jack Hornbeck, CCE, President and CEO, The Hampton Roads Chamber of Commerce, cited the hospitality industry as one of the driving forces behind Manpower’s survey results. “In the summer, tourism flows from two major sources: the beaches and nearby Williamsburg. The economic balance has provided the region with stability and a healthy job market,” said Hornbeck.
Regional workforce agency Opportunity, Inc., hosted a “State of the Workforce in Hampton Roads” event on June 10 in Norfolk. Economist Christina Chmura who compiled the study stated that the Hampton Roads area has been “temporarily impaired by the recession, but its economic foundation remains strong.”
The report also included statistics on unemployment. In April 2010, unemployment in Hampton Roads was 7.10, while nationwide it was 9.50. And as a state, Virginia’s unemployment rate was 6.70 during the month. Click here to view the report from Opportunity, Inc.