Most business leaders surveyed in an Express Employment Professionals poll do not expect a recession within the next six months, despite increased media focus on the possibility of an upcoming downturn. In the survey, just four percent expect a recession in the next three months, while 14% expect one in three to six months. Thirty-one percent predict a recession in six months to one year; 36% expect a recession in one year; and 41% say a recession likely is two years away.

Notes Brandon Malloy, a senior staffing consultant in McMinnville, Ore.: "We are not worried in our territory. The last recession was preceded by most of our lumber mill clients slowing down significantly; then our steel mill did a large layoff. This was 14 months before the recession was actually here. We continue to see endless positions posted locally and a competitive recruiting market between the mills. I see our territory staying strong through the election cycle in 2020."

John Dickey, franchise owner in Wakefield, Mass., is not so sure: 'Tariffs are affecting our customers daily, and they are holding off on adding additional headcount in order to keep their costs as low as possible. The job numbers also are decreasing every month, but the most noticeable sign is the manufacturing index...

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