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US employers report strongest hiring outlook in 12 years: ManpowerGroup

December 11, 2018

US employers report their strongest hiring intentions in 12 years, according to the first-quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).

The US ranked among the strongest outlooks for hiring among the 44 countries surveyed in the report. Other countries with solid hiring outlooks included Japan, Taiwan, Slovenia and Greece.

“We’re seeing continued demand for skilled talent across the globe, as companies stay focused on business growth, especially in tight labor markets like the US,” said ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising. “We see positive hiring too across Europe despite some caution in Northern Europe where Outlooks are more modest.”

In the US, ManpowerGroup’s survey found 23% of US employer respondents plan to increase staff in the first quarter — up from 21% in the year-ago quarter — while those planning to decrease remained unchanged from the prior-year quarter at 5%. This yields a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 20% for the first quarter compared to 19% for the same quarter in 2018.

The survey encompassed more than 60,000 employers around the world, including more than 12,500 in the US.

Employers in all 13 national industry sectors forecast an increase in payrolls during the first quarter. Employers in the transportation and utilities sector reported the strongest hiring intentions for the first quarter, with 30% planning to increase hiring and a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 28%. Leisure and hospitality followed with a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 27%. The net employment outlook for professional and business services is also strong at 25%.

All regions in the US reported positive first-quarter hiring plans. Employers in the Northeast reported the strongest hiring prospects in more than 12 years. The strongest regional labor market is anticipated in the South, where employers expect the strongest labor market in more than 11 years.

Employers in Delaware, Idaho, Hawaii, New Hampshire and Florida reported the strongest employment outlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Daytona Beach, Fla.; Cape Coral, Fla.; Tampa, Fla.; Jacksonville, Fla.; and Raleigh, NC.

“Increased employer optimism tells us employers have jobs to fill, yet we know they are struggling to find the talent they need from production line workers to IT professionals,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America.

With so many US organizations set to hire in an already tight labor market, skilled workers can call the shots, according to Frankiewicz.

“We’ve seen large organizations increase wages and add new perks and benefits like unlimited paid time off to compete for talent,” she said. “Employers can increase their offer, yet ultimately there is a finite supply of skilled talent, unless we’re investing in development and giving employees the chance to upskill, move up and earn more.”


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