Written by Jacquelyn Smith, [Forbes.com December 17, 2010]

Article submitted byCarmen R. Austin, MBA, CCIM, Associate Broker for Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate

Employers are more optimistic about hiring in the first quarter of 2011 than at any time in more than two years. Overall 9% more of them expect to be adding staff than expect to be reducing it. Some cities have an exceptionally positive outlook, while others present a bleaker picture.

Employment services firm Manpower surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan areas to find out who’s hiring, who’s firing and who plans to maintain their current staff levels. The survey revealed that the metropolitan area with the most optimistic forecast of all for hiring this winter is Baton Rouge, La.

Louisiana’s capital tops the list this with an 18% net employment outlook, which is the percentage of employers who expect to add employees (22%) minus the percentage who expect to reduce their workforce (4%). Another 71% said they anticipated no change, and 3% didn’t know.

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Carmen has been a practicing commercial real estate broker since 2001. She is a graduate of the Louisiana State University (LSU) E.J. Ourso College of Business and the LSU Flores Masters of Business Administration (MBA) Program with a specialization in Entrepreneurship and Real Estate Finance.  Her experience includes past employment as Regional Director of Leasing at Commercial Properties Realty Trust the for-profit arm of the Baton Rouge Area Foundation. Carmen’s affiliations include Louisiana REALTORS®,Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment DivisionInternational Council of Shopping CentersCommercial Real Estate WomenCertified Commercial Investment Member InstituteNational Association of REALTORS®, and Urban Land Institute. She is also an active volunteer on the board of directors for the Baton Rouge GalleryLSU MBA Alumni AssociationJunior Achievement of Baton Rouge, and the Junior League of Baton Rouge.  Carmen currently serves as the 2010 President of the Louisiana CCIM Chapter

Saurage Rotenberg Commercial Real Estate is a member of the Baton Rouge Area Chamber of Commerce (BRAC); the West Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce; the Baton Rouge Growth Coalition; the Baton Rouge Better Business Bureau; the Louisiana Commercial Data Base (LACDB); and the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC). Several agents, on an individual basis, are members of the Society of Industrial and Office Realtors® (SIOR), the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM); the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR); and the Greater Baton Rouge Association of REALTORS® Commercial Investment Division (CID).