Hiring boom afoot in Bay Area 

"We’re hiring." A recent survey has found that more Bay Area employers are saying that phrase than ever since the dot-com era.

The Bay Area Council found that 44 percent of 553 top Bay Area business executives said they are looking to increase their work force in the next six months. The survey found that 6 percent will decrease their work force, while 47 percent will stay at current levels.

"What we’re seeing is a huge uptake in confidence that has buoyed plans in hiring," said John Grubb, spokesman for the BayArea Council. "Another way of looking at this survey is that for every one company that’s laying off workers, eight are hiring."

That is the most optimistic forecast since the dot-com boom peaked in April 2001.

"Unemployed workers are becoming the new endangered species in the Bay Area," Jim Wunderman, president of the Bay Area Council, said of the survey.

This positive trend is coupled with a sunny outlook at the overall economy. Fifty-two percent in the survey said the local economy will improve in the next six months. A mere 8 percent believed it will decline. Six months ago in the same survey, only about one-third of executives anticipated an improved economy.

The Bay Area has added about 50,000 newly employed residents in the past year, according to Lenny Mendonca, a director at McKinsey & Co., a consulting firm that assisted in the survey.

Within the Bay Area, the Peninsula reflected the most optimism, where none of the 47 executives surveyed is anticipating layoffs and 58 percent are planning to hire.

"Google, Yahoo, biotech companies, construction are all doing quite well," Grubb said.

bfoley@examiner.com

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