Job Hunting Looking Up?

If conditions are ideal, meaning the national economy continues on a slight upswing and even weather conditions are good, projections show that over the next three months there could be an increase in the number of jobs available in the Meridian area.

According to the most recent Manpower survey, 27 percent of local companies predict an increase in hiring during this period, while 17 percent plan to downsize.

"You're going to see the losses in public utilities and transportation-type jobs, because the weather is going to be better," said Manpower spokeswoman Casandra Sloan, "so people will use other means to get around. As far as the increase, it would be in construction because people will renovate their homes and businesses."

With at least slight increases expected in construction and industry, job analysts say in this area, the average starting salary is just over $6.00 an hour. Another area where jobs are expected to be available is in clerical/administrative assistants. Those positions typically start in the $7.50 an hour range.

Manpower officials say the key to getting many of these jobs, especially in the clerical field, is to be flexible.

"You not only have to be flexible with hours, but be willing to accept that job for one or two weeks because usually if you're greater and have good work ethics, they will keep you on," Sloan said.