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Hiring Optimism Among U.S. Employers

Mar 8, 2011
This article is part of a series called News & Trends.

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results, the U.S. outlook for Quarter 2 2011 is +8%, up from +6% during the same period last year and consistent with the +8% Outlook during Quarter 1 2011.

Manpower Inc. releases the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. Polling nearly 64,000 employers in 39 countries and territories, the survey is conducted using a validated methodology in accordance with the highest standards in market research. In the U.S., the survey is conducted by an independent, third-party research firm and includes a select sample of more than 18,000 U.S. employers. This sample represents the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas based on business establishment count and all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

From its survey, Manpower learned:

  • There is positive outlook in every state. Employers in all 50 states report positive hiring intentions and 33 out of 50 states anticipate considerable increases. Puerto Rico and Washington D.C. employers also report positive hiring intentions.
  • All industries are looking to hire. Employers in the thirteen industry sectors surveyed each report a positive outlook, with Mining and Leisure & Hospitality employers the most optimistic. Employers in 10 of the 13 industry sectors expect hiring to increase from three months ago.
  • We have had six straight quarters of employment growth. Employers have reported a positive overall hiring outlook since Quarter 1 2010, according to seasonally adjusted data.
  • Fewer employers plan to decrease headcounts. 6% of employers plan to reduce employee levels in Quarter 2 2011, down from recessionary highs of 14% in 2009.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 16% anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 2 2011 hiring plans, while 6% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +10%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +8%. 74% of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 4% of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

Employers in all four U.S. geographic regions surveyed report a seasonally adjusted outlook of +8%. The hiring outlook in the West is the strongest for the region since Quarter 4 2008. Compared to one year ago, a slight increase in employment prospects is expected in the Midwest, South, and West, while the Northeast is steady. Quarter over quarter, employers in the Northeast, South, and West report relatively stable hiring conditions, while employers in the Midwest expect a slight dip in employment plans.

“Nearly all of the of the key data points in our survey show that employers are positive, but hiring plans are still reserved due to their continued ability to manage the slowly increasing demand with the existing workforce,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas.  “In the U.S., we are holding on to hard-won job gains and waiting for the time when the growth in demand for goods and services will require more substantial workforce additions.”

Results from the thirteen industry sectors surveyed indicate an overall positive outlook for Quarter 2 2011:

  • Leisure & Hospitality: +21%
  • Mining: +21%
  • Professional & Business Services: +15%
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing: +14%
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade: +12%
  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing: +11%
  • Financial Activities: +9%
  • Information: +9%
  • Transportation & Utilities: +8%
  • Other Services: +7%
  • Construction: +6%
  • Education & Health Services: +6%
  • Government: +1%

You can view the full survey results here. The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on June 14, 2011, to report hiring expectations for Quarter 3 2011.

This article is part of a series called News & Trends.
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