MILWAUKEE--A long-awaited decline in hiring activity among employers throughout the nation appears ahead for the second quarter.

According to a poll conducted by Manpower Inc., 28 percent of employers expect to hire new workers in the second quarter. Eight percent expect staffing decreases, 59 percent intend no change, and 5 percent are undecided. In the same quarter of last year, 32 percent anticipated additions, 6 percent foresaw decreases, 58 percent planned no changes, and 4 percent were uncertain.

All industries and regions shared in the decline, but the slowdown was highest among durable goods manufacturing and wholesale and retail trades. Thirty percent of durable goods manufacturers planned to increase their workforces in the second quarter. Fifty-three percent expected no change, 12 percent expected to decrease staffing, and 5 percent were undecided.

"We have seen remarkably consistent demand for new workers for more than three years and very substantial hiring remains to be done," says Jeffrey Joerres, Manpower's president and CEO. "But, the slowdown now on the horizon is considerably greater than seasonal variation alone."