U.S. employers anticipate hiring to inch ahead in second quarter

RP news wires
Tags: talent management, business management

U.S. employers have modest hiring plans for Quarter 2 2010, according to the results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.

This quarter's research concludes:

  • Year-Over-Year Increase: With a seasonally adjusted Outlook of +5 percent, employers indicate a moderate increase in hiring expectations compared to one year ago, when the seasonally adjusted Outlook was -2 percent.
  • Stability Continues: Seventy-three percent of employers, a record-tying high, expect to keep staff levels stable, which is good news for the currently employed.
  • Industries Recovering: Twelve of 13 industry sectors surveyed report positive Net Employment Outlooks, meaning employers in most industry sectors plan to add staff during the second quarter.
  • Local Picture Improving: Among 201 surveyed Metropolitan Statistical Areas, 94 percent indicate a positive or neutral Net Employment Outlook, indicating cautious optimism is becoming more widespread geographically.

"We continue to see encouraging signs in hiring activity in the U.S.," said Manpower Inc. chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres. "Key industries such as Manufacturing and Construction are seeing notable improvements on a year-over-year basis."

"U.S. hiring activity is still in neutral, but revving toward first gear," said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. "It's moving in the right direction, but it will take some time, with no major speed bumps, before it can accelerate."

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed across the nation, 16 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels during Quarter 2 2010, while 8 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +8 percent. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +5 percent. Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans, with the final 3 percent of employers indicating they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

Employers in 12 of the 13 industry sectors surveyed have a positive Outlook for Quarter 2 2010: Leisure & Hospitality (+17 percent), Professional & Business Services (+15 percent), Mining (+11 percent), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+9 percent), Financial Activities (+9 percent), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+8 percent), Information (+8 percent), Transportation & Utilities (+8 percent), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+7 percent), Construction (+4 percent), Other Services (+4 percent) and Education & Health Services (+3 percent). The Quarter 2 2010 Outlook is negative only for employers in Government (-1 percent).

For Quarter 2 2010, a positive Outlook is reported in all four of the U.S. regions surveyed. The Northeast has the strongest Outlook (+8 percent), followed by the South and West (+6 percent). The Outlook in the Midwest (+4 percent) is the weakest of the regions surveyed.

* The Net Employment Outlook, often shortened to simply Outlook or NEO, 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.

About the Author