Local companies are expected to step up their hiring during the third quarter, according to a survey released Tuesday from Manpower Group.

According to the survey, 17 percent of firms queried said they intend to increase staffing levels during the third quarter. That’s up from 16 percent who said they intended to staff up during the second quarter, though it’s down from 18 percent for the third quarter of 2011.

Meanwhile, only 5 percent of firms surveyed said they intend to cut staffing levels during the third quarter. While that’s up from 4 percent for the second quarter, it’s down sharply from 10 percent a year ago.

“Employers expect improved employment prospects compared with one year ago,” said Manpower spokeswoman Janelle Etchepare.

More than three-fourths of the companies surveyed said they intended to keep staffing levels constant during the third quarter.

The survey said that the hottest areas for hiring during the third quarter include non-durable goods manufacturing, retail trade, financial activities, professional and business services and education and health services.