Loyalty in the lights Light-beer drinkers may count calories, but they don't settle for just any brew. New York City-based Brand Keys interviewed 400 consumers of light beer nationwide to determine the attitudinal and behavioral factors that influence purchases within the category. Out of several dozen product attributes, Brand Keys identified four key drivers and scored them on an index of 100. The survey participants-100 per brand-then rated their beer of choice against these top attributes. Amstel Light, despite commanding a much smaller market share than its competitors in the survey, scored the highest overall. "The perception that it has a great imported taste is carrying it," says Brand Keys' Steve McCloskey. Pour us a cold one-please.
First Quarter Job Outlook: Seasonally Strong Boeing layoff plans notwithstanding, hiring prospects remain unchanged from those of three months ago, when adjusted for the impact of seasonal variation, according to the most recent Manpower Inc. survey of 16,000 employers in 473 U.S. cities. Unadjusted results reflect an anticipated decline from the fourth quarter, primarily due to post-holiday reductions in the wholesale and retail trades and winter staffing levels in the construction field. Projected staffing in the construction industry is, in fact, higher than any previous first-quarter period in Manpower's Employment Outlook Survey. Nationally, 23 percent of the firms polled plan to increase their workforce in the first quarter, while 10 percent forecast reductions and 63 percent expect no change. The manufacturing sectors-both durable and non-durable goods-indicate softness in hiring plans, continuing trends noted in the second half of 1998, but extensive staff reductions are not planned in those sectors.
Services firms and finance, insurance, and real estate companies will sustain recruiting at seasonal levels as established in the past year. Education employers will continue strong hiring patterns for a tenth quarter. Schools have been more aggressive employers during the past two years; the present staffing-up level of 17 percent and a low 3 percent decrease resembles 1998 patterns.