Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals a Rise in U.S. Employers’ Confidence

Posted by Heidi Schwartz

U.S. employers report a boost in confidence as the percent of employers planning to add staff, 22%, reaches a four-year high, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released by ManpowerGroup. According to the seasonally adjusted survey results, the Net Employment Outlook* for Quarter 3 2013 is +12%, up from +11% during Quarter 2 2013 and the same period last year.

This quarter’s research reports:

  • Employers Increasing Staff Levels: According to seasonally adjusted data, the overall percentage of anticipated hiring increases is at 22% for Quarter 3 2013. This is the highest percentage of employers projecting an increase in hiring since before 2009.
  • Strength in Industry Sectors: Employers in two industry sectors convey notable national growth for Quarter 3 2013.
    • Construction employers anticipate a moderate increase in hiring in Quarter 3 2013, with the Net Employment Outlook rising eight percentage points compared with Q2 2013. The Construction industry sector last surpassed the current Outlook of +18% in Quarter 3 2007.
    • Employers in the Leisure & Hospitality industry sector also indicate a moderate increase in hiring in Quarter 3 2013 with an Outlook increase of six percentage points. The Leisure & Hospitality industry sector’s Outlook for Quarter 3 2012 is 30%. This rivals the previous strongest Outlook in the Leisure & Hospitality industry sector, which was last seen one year ago.
  • Continued Growth in All States and Metro Areas: For the second consecutive quarter, employers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia report positive hiring plans, with the strongest Outlook, 23%, from North Dakota. Employers in all Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) also report positive hiring plans, with the strongest Outlook in Des Moines, Iowa, reaching +26%.

“Continued uncertainty plays a critical role in hiring decisions, and employers are forced to function in a fast-moving business environment where local and global events impact employment strategies more than ever before,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President. “These new market conditions require employers to think differently about workforce models and the talent they need for business success. Many economic indicators pointed toward measured optimism during the first half of the year, and our third quarter data show a rise in hiring intentions that demonstrates improved demand for products and services.”

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 22% anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 3 2013 hiring plans, while 6% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +16%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +12%. Seventy percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 2% of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions.

“The slow and steady improvements we’ve seen quarter over quarter have formed a launch pad for continued progress,” said Prising. “Positive hiring intentions are critical for economic growth, but having the right talent available to fill open positions is the other side of the coin. Without a qualified pool of candidates ready for employment, economic growth may be hampered as businesses aren’t able to meet increased demand due to unfilled positions. Through increased collaboration between educators, government and the private sector, we can shrink the talent mismatch and build upon our current momentum.”

Hiring Outlooks for Industry Sectors and Regions
For Quarter 3 2013, employers have a positive Outlook in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey: Leisure & Hospitality (+30%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+20%), Mining (+18%), Construction (+18%), Professional & Business Services (+18%), Transportation & Utilities (+17%), Financial Activities (+15%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+14%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+13%), Information (+12%), Other Services (+10%), Government (+9%) and Education & Health Services (+6%). When the industry sector data is compared quarter-over-quarter, employers in the Construction, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Leisure & Hospitality sectors anticipate a moderate hiring increase, while employers in the Mining, Transportation & Utilities, Financial Activities and Government sectors look for the hiring pace to slightly increase. Staff levels are expected to remain relatively stable among employers in six industry sectors: Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Information, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services and Other Services.

A positive Net Employment Outlook is reported in all four U.S. regions. Quarter-over-quarter, plans to add employees are slightly stronger among employers in the West, and remain essentially the same among employers in the Northeast, Midwest and South. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the West project a slight increase in hiring for Quarter 3 2013, and employers in the Northeast, Midwest and South expect a relatively stable hiring environment.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on September 10, 2013, to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2013.

*The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.