The numbers are in from an 11-month survey of employment trends carried out by the Walkerton-based Four Counties Labour Market Planning Board.
The survey points to manufacturing as the major non-agricultural private-sector employer in Huron, Perth, Bruce and Grey Counties.
Planning Board Executive-Director Gemma Mendez-Smith is encouraged that the survey attracted so many responses.
The Planning Board received close to 640 responses to the survey that was updated every three months between May 2010 and March.
The figures show that manufacturing employs the highest number of private-sector workers and that many plan to hire new employees.
Mendez-Smith says the manufacturing sector remains strong despite the hit it took during the recent recession.
She points out that manufacturing has the highest number of job openings even though the requirements and qualifications may be changing to keep up with technological advances.
Mendez-Smith says the Board plans to follow up with a second survey to bolster the numbers from the poll that's just been completed.
The Board wants to find out whether the first survey was valuable to employers and whether it will help in their future hiring and improvement plans.
The final report on the survey completed in March will also be shared with the Ministry of Colleges and Universities to help post-secondary schools develop and improve technical training programs.