MILWAUKEE--The slowdown in hiring will continue throughout the nation in the third quarter, especially in manufacturing.

According to a poll conducted by Manpower Inc., 27 percent of all employers expect to hire new workers in the third quarter. Nine percent expect staffing decreases, 59 percent intend no change, and 5 percent are undecided. In the same quarter of last year, 35 percent anticipated additions, 5 percent foresaw decreases, 55 percent planned no changes, and 5 percent were uncertain.

Hiring activity will be particularly weak in manufacturing. Only 24 percent of durable goods manufacturers plan to add workers in the third quarter, and 15 percent plan to cut staff. The situation is not much better for manufacturers of nondurable goods. Only 23 percent of those companies will hire workers next quarter, and 12 percent will decrease their payrolls.

"The projected hiring strength in the present economy has declined for the second consecutive quarter and now seems to be approaching the 1990-91 levels in our survey history," says Jeffrey Joerres, Manpower's president and CEO. "Not since the early 1980s has hiring in manufacturing firms been more sluggish at this time of year."

When adjusted for seasonal variation, hiring projections in all industries declined from prior levels and are currently at or near one-half of those recorded in the survey of 6 months ago.