Forbes has named the Portland-South Portland-Biddeford area as one of the nation’s top 10 metropolitan areas for job-hunting this spring.

The list is based on a national survey of employers by ManpowerGroup, an employment services firm. The company says the Portland area has a “net employment outlook” of 19 percent for the second quarter of 2012. The number is based on the percentage of employers who anticipate increases in staffing levels, and the percentage who expect reductions.

The survey identified the top two metropolitan areas as Greenville-Mauldin-Easley, S.C., and Knoxville, Tenn. Both have a 24 percent net employment outlook. Portland was ranked sixth.

Forbes said the area with the worst economic outlook is Jacksonville, Fla., which has a net employment outlook of 2 percent.

In a prepared statement, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan said more than 40 percent of Maine’s personal income, employment and total state product comes from the Portland area.

He said it’s crucial for policymakers at the state and local levels to adopt policies that support growth and the quality of life in Portland because “Portland and Maine’s economic success go hand in hand.”

Maine has not always fared so well in Forbes’ reviews. In December, the magazine ranked Maine as the worst state to do business in for the second year in a row.

According to Forbes, Manpower surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan areas on their hiring plans. Of the surveyed employers, 18 percent anticipated an increase in staffing levels in the second quarter while 6 percent expected a decrease.

The difference between those numbers gives what ManpowerGroup calls a net employment outlook of 12 percent – or 10 percent when seasonally adjusted – in the 100 areas, which is still up from 8 percent for the same period last year.

Staff Writer Tom Bell can be contacted at 791-6369 or at:

tbell@pressherald.com