Four in 10 regional manufacturing companies plan to hire in 2014, the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia reported in a closely watched survey released Thursday.
"It was a bit of a surprise to see a 41 percent expansion in employment," bank senior economic analyst Michael Trebing said Thursday, commenting on the report.
"That number overwhelmed the 10 percent [of companies] that expect to decrease" their payrolls, Trebing said.
Trebing said the Philadelphia regional manufacturing report is closely watched nationally because the city's manufacturing base is diverse, making it more of a proxy for the entire nation. The bank surveyed 75 businesses.