In another sign of economic strength, a new survey shows that 30 percent of American employers are planning to boost their payrolls in the second quarter while just 7 percent expect job cuts.

The net total of 23 percent planning increases represents the highest level seen since 1989, Manpower Inc. said Monday in its quarterly telephone survey of 15,000 U.S. businesses. The survey showed 60 percent of companies plan no changes in hiring and 3 percent are uncertain of their plans.The findings substantiate other data that show the U.S. economy still has some strength left, despite a series of interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve to slow growth and arrest inflation.

"It's telling you that the economy is growing," said Samuel D. Kahan, chief economist at Fuji Securities Inc. in Chicago.

Other economic reports have shown the nation's average work week and overtime hours are up, help wanted ads are rising, first-time unemployment rates are dropping and factory orders are increasing.

"I'm not surprised that they see ongoing strength in employment, particularly because we've seen various leading indicators of unemployment declining," said Hugh Johnson, a vice president at First Albany Corp.

American manufacturers expressed the most active hiring plans, according to the survey by Manpower, a Milwaukee-based temporary employment agency.

Among makers of long-lasting products like machinery and appliances, 38 percent said they planned to hire more people while 7 percent said they planned to decrease employment. The net rate is the highest since 1984.

The wholesale and retail trades also projected a near-record outlook, with 34 percent indicating intentions to hire and 6 percent saying they may cut back. That was the most optimistic forecast in a decade for the industry.

The weakest projection was in the finance, insurance and real estate sector - the only area to lose ground.

Geographically, confidence is highest in the Midwest, where 34 percent of the companies expect to hire additional workers and 6 percent expect a decrease, Manpower said. The Northeast and the West were softest.

In other signs of economic strength, the Commerce Department last week reported durable goods orders rose 0.6 percent in January, the third straight advance. The government also has reported factory payrolls jumped by 39,000 jobs in January.

Factory overtime edged up 0.1 hour to a record 4.9 hours, and the average work week lengthened by 0.3 hour in January to a seasonally adjusted 34.9 hours.