The latest "Manpower Employment Outlook Survey," released by ManpowerGroup, reaffirms continued hiring confidence in the second quarter (Q2) of 2014, as U.S. employers report a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of +13%. This is the third consecutive quarter with a net employment outlook of +13%, which is the strongest outlook since Q2 2008, when it was +14%. It is slightly stronger than one year ago when it was +11%.
Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 19% anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Q2 2014 hiring plans, while anticipated staff reductions are among the lowest in survey history at 4%. Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 4% of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions.
"Although we expect measured, stable growth in new hiring for the coming quarter, the good news is that employers anticipate the lowest rate of workforce reductions in nearly four decades," said ManpowerGroup president Jonas Prising. "With 92% of U.S. employers planning to hire or keep their staff levels steady, there is a sense of optimism that demand for goods and services is getting more predictable, allowing employers to feel more comfortable about business growth."
This quarter’s research shows that employers expect hiring intentions to remain relatively stable quarter-over-quarter across all regions and slightly increase compared to one year ago at this time.
While the Q2 outlook remains relatively stable across all regions, the states and metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) indicate some variance in hiring intentions. Among the 50 states, employers in North Dakota indicate the strongest net employment outlook at +25%. Employers in Puerto Rico expect staff reductions to outweigh additions with an outlook of -4%. Employers in all 100 MSAs surveyed report positive hiring plans, with Provo, Utah, the most positive at +29%. Employers in Honolulu, Hawaii, report the weakest outlook at +6%.
Hiring Outlooks for Industry Sectors and Regions
New in 2014, the survey results include deseasonalized data at the industry level, which aligns with the methodology used to tabulate and present the national and regional data. Therefore, the numbers presented are deseasonalized across all industries.
For Q2 2014, employers have a positive outlook in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey: leisure and hospitality (+20%), wholesale and retail trade (+19%), mining (+18%), professional and business services (+14%), transportation and utilities (+12%), information (+12%), durable goods manufacturing (+11%), government (+10%), construction (+9%), financial activities (+8%), education and health services (+8%), other services (+7%) and nondurable goods manufacturing (+6%).
Employers in all four U.S. regions surveyed report a positive net employment outlook. Quarter-over-quarter, plans to add workers remain consistent among employers in all regions. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the Midwest and Northeast regions expect a relatively stable hiring environment, while employers in the South and West regions expect a slight uptick in hiring for Q2 2014.