Marine industry following U.S. employment trends

NEW YORK and NEW BERN, N.C. – U.S. employers have reported their strongest employment outlook since 2001, and the marine industry appears to be in the hiring mood as well.

Hatteras Yachts, for example, has added 100 full-time and 25 temporary employees since Jan. 1, it reported yesterday.

Cruisers Yachts also has been adding to its staff, with more then 42 new employees added so far this year and expectations that number will rise to over 90 by late July.

This news comes on the heels of a recently completed survey of 16,000 U.S. employers by temporary staffing company Manpower Inc. – cited in a story on the CNN/Money Web site. The article paints a rosy picture not only of the current jobs situation, but of the employment outlook for the weeks and months to come.

The pace of hiring in the U.S. is projected to be as strong from July through September as it was in the second quarter. The U.S. Department of Labor has reported that from the beginning of March through the end of May, nearly 1 million jobs were created, according to the CNN/Money Web site.

Manpower found 30 percent of companies said they expect to increase total employment in the third quarter, 6 percent said they would decrease it, and 59 percent predicted no change from the second quarter, according to CNN.

"In our second quarter survey, U.S. employers reported the strongest employment outlook since early 2001,” said Manpower's CEO Jeffrey A. Joerres, who was quoted in the story. “The fact that employers expect to hire at the same pace in the third quarter suggests that they continue to feel confident."

Of the 10 industry sectors the Manpower survey measures, employers in seven expect to increase hiring activity in the third quarter compared with the second quarter. Compared with the same period a year ago, the hiring prospects across all 10 sectors are stronger. The services industry and the wholesale and retail trade sector boast the greatest percentage of employers who anticipate increased hiring in the third-quarter on a seasonally adjusted basis, according to the article.

Hatteras workforce up 15 percent, still growing

Hatteras shares that confidence, reporting that an increase in demand has driven its recent hiring and that some of its temporary employees may be converted to full-time in the coming months. But the company may not stop there.

“Our recent hiring brings Hatteras’ work force 15 percent above where we stood less than a year ago, and we aren’t finished,” said Chris Miller, Hatteras’ vice president of human resources. “We are still seeking to add 50 full-time team members.”

These additional positions include painters, carpenters, cabinetmakers and electrical/mechanical assemblers, all based in the New Bern plant, Hatteras said.

“This significant up-tick in demand is a reflection of our increased commitment to new product development,” said Hatteras Chief Executive Officer and President Bill Naumann. “Our plans call for us to cut the cycle time for new products in half. Our customers want leading edge products, and they want them faster."

Sales have been on an upward swing since the fall of 2003, during which time Hatteras has enjoyed two record-setting boat shows. Sales of the company’s 80 Motor Yacht , 68 Convertible – which will be introduced at the 2004 Fort Lauderdale Boat Show – and the introduction of the 64 Motor Yacht are leading contributors to the need for an expanded work force, according to the company.

Other sectors of industry hiring too

A recently completed survey conducted by Boating Industry magazine for its 2004 Market Data Book has revealed increased hiring among marine dealers as well.

Of those dealers surveyed, 22.8 percent said they had increased their total number of full-time employees from 2002 to 2003. The complete results of that survey are printed in the 2004 MDB, which mails July 26.

Over 21 percent of the dealers also reported increases in their number of part-time employees, according to the survey.

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