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U.S. employers expect to increase hiring in the first quarter of 2014, according to the first-quarter 2014 Manpower employment outlook survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).
Among U.S. employers surveyed, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces and 7 percent expect a decline in payrolls during the first quarter of 2014. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 3 percent are undecided about first-quarter hiring plans. This results in a net employment outlook of 13 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the strongest first-quarter outlook since the first quarter of 2008, when the employment outlook was 16 percent. This quarter's 13 percent outlook is the same as the fourth quarter of 2013 and up one percentage point from last year’s first quarter.
U.S. employers have now conveyed a positive outlook for 17 consecutive quarters.
“Employers remain optimistic and continue to gradually improve their hiring projections despite the uneven economic recovery and other global and domestic influences,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “We're starting to see talent strategy match the importance of business strategy as individuals with the right skills and experience become harder to find.”
Employers in North Dakota indicate the strongest net employment outlook at 17 percent. Only one state, Montana, has a negative outlook at -2 percent. Employers in the majority of all metro areas anticipate positive hiring expectations, with the strongest outlook in Deltona, Fla., at 24 percent.
All 13 industry sectors reported a net positive outlook. The best industries for hiring are leisure and hospitality at 23 percent; wholesale and retail trade at 19 percent; and professional and business services at 16 percent. The worst industries were government and “other services,” both at 6 percent.
Quarter over quarter, employers in the South expect a slight increase in hiring, employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West expect a relatively stable hiring environment. Compared with one year ago at this time, employers in the South project a slight increase in hiring in the first quarter, and employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West expect a relatively stable hiring environment.
ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook survey includes responses from more than 18,000 U.S. employers.
Canada hiring trends
Canadian employers report steady hiring intentions for the first quarter. In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 12 percent, up two percentage points from the previous quarter but relatively stable from the same time last year.
Thirteen percent of the more than 1,900 Canadian employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the fourth quarter of 2013 while 8 percent anticipate cutbacks and 78 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels.
“Overall, a respectable national hiring climate is projected in the coming quarter,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada. “Employers in the construction industry are again anticipating the strongest payroll gains, however most new jobs in the sector are expected in Western Canada and Ontario. Nationally, though job creation continues at a steady pace, many of the gains are expected to occur in lower-paying sectors.”