Home » Manpower Employment outlook survey reveals increase in U.S. employers’ 3Q hiring plans

Manpower Employment outlook survey reveals increase in U.S. employers’ 3Q hiring plans

Gradual Improvements in Hiring Optimism Continue Among U.S. Employers

MILWAUKEE (June 12, 2012) – Hiring confidence among U.S. employers continues to inch up as all states, regions and industries surveyed report a positive Net Employment Outlook, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup. The seasonally adjusted survey results show the Net Employment Outlook for Quarter 3 2012 is +11%, slightly up from +10% during Quarter 2 2012 and +8% during the same period last year.

U.S. Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Results

(Q3 of ’12 is current quarter)

Quarter             Increase             Decrease            No Change            Don’t Know            Net Employment

                                Staff                        Staff                      in Staff                Hiring Plans                Outlook

Q3 2012                  21%                          6%                         71%                             2%                                    +11%

Q2 2012                  18%                         6%                          72%                             4%                                   +10%

Q3 2011                   20%                        8%                          69%                             3%                                     +8%

This quarter’s research concludes:

• Employer Confidence Builds: Quarter 3 2012 marks the first double-digit Net Employment Outlook across all four regions since 2008.

• 92 Percent of Companies Expect Similar or Growing Staff Levels: According to seasonally adjusted data, 92 percent of U.S. employers plan to increase or make no changes to their hiring in Quarter 3 2012. The continued climb in confidence marks 11 straight quarters of positive overall hiring outlook, which were preceded by three quarters of pessimistic employment plans.

• Positive Trend Continues Across U.S.: Hiring intentions continue to climb in the U.S. with employers in all 50 states expecting to add staff. With two consecutive quarters of strong results, Alaska remains a leader among the states. Alaskan employers have shown a significant increase in hiring intentions since Quarter 1 2012 when the Outlook was +1% compared with +29% in Quarter 3 2012. All 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas surveyed also report positive hiring intentions.

• Industry-Wide Optimism: For the first time since 2008, the survey shows two consecutive quarters of positive Outlooks in all industries across all four regions surveyed.

“In our on-demand world, seeing long-term changes can be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that employer confidence has been on an upward trajectory for three years,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. “While slow and sometimes frustrating, job growth has proven to be sustainable, and the data shows a solid foundation is in place for continued progress.”

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 21 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 3 2012 hiring plans, while 6 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +15%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +11%. Seventy-one percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 2 percent of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

“This recovery continues to progress slowly, and we need more focus on structural challenges in the labor market in order to drive hiring acceleration in the future,” said Prising. “Talent mismatch is a top concern, with half of U.S. employers struggling to find the right people with the right skills for their businesses. The key to solving this mismatch is to create solid partnerships between business leaders and the colleges, vocational institutions and high schools in their markets so job seekers can learn the relevant skills necessary for employment success.”

Hiring Outlooks for Industry Sectors and Regions 

For Quarter 3 2012, employers have a positive Outlook in all of the 13 industry sectors included in the survey: Leisure & Hospitality (+30%); Professional & Business Services (+20%); Wholesale & Retail Trade (+19%); Mining (+17%); Durable Goods Manufacturing (+15%); Transportation & Utilities (+14%); Financial Activities (+14%); Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+13%); Construction (+12%); Information (+12%); Other Services (+10%); Government (+7%); and Education & Health Services (+6%).

When the industry sector data is compared quarter over quarter, employers in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector anticipate a moderate hiring increase. The hiring pace is expected to slightly increase among employers in seven industry sectors: Construction, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services and Government.

Employers in the Durable and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities and Education & Health Services sectors anticipate a relatively stable hiring pace, while employers in the Mining sector expect the hiring pace to slightly decline quarter over quarter.

A positive Net Employment Outlook is reported in all four U.S. regions. Quarter over quarter, plans to add employees are slightly up among employers in the South, and remain essentially the same among employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the Midwest, South and West regions project a slight increase in hiring for Quarter 3 2012, and employers in the Northeast region expect a relatively stable hiring environment.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on September 11 to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2012. To receive e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, visit http://press.manpower.com/signup.

*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.

About the Survey

ManpowerGroup’s quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus.

The Manpower Employment Outlook 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 (MSA) based on business establishment count and all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The mix of industries within the survey follows the North American Industry Classification System Supersectors and is structured to be representative of the U.S. economy. With this number of interviews, the overall U.S. survey carries a margin of error of +/-0.61%, with a 90 percent confidence index.