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ManpowerGroup survey: US Q2 2014 hiring trends stable

March 11 2014

U.S. employers expect to increase hiring in the second quarter of 2014, according to the second-quarter 2014 Manpower employment outlook survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN). Anticipated staff reductions are among the lowest in survey history.

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 19 percent expect to add to their workforces and only 4 percent expect a decline in payrolls during the second quarter of 2014. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 4 percent are undecided about second-quarter hiring plans. This results in a net employment outlook of 13 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis. This is the third consecutive quarter with a net employment outlook of 13 percent and the strongest outlook since the second quarter of 2008, when the employment outlook was 14 percent. The outlook is up two percentage points from last year’s second quarter.

U.S. employers have now conveyed a positive outlook for 18 consecutive quarters.

“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 Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “With 92 percent 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.”

Employers in North Dakota indicate the strongest net employment outlook at 25 percent. Employers in Puerto Rico expect staff reductions to outweigh additions with a negative outlook of 4 percent. Employers in the majority of all metro areas anticipate positive hiring expectations, with the strongest outlook in Provo, Utah, at 29 percent.

All 13 industry sectors reported a net positive outlook. The best industries for hiring are leisure and hospitality at 20 percent; wholesale and retail trade at 19 percent; and mining at 18 percent. The worst industries were nondurable goods manufacturing and “other services,” at 6 percent and 7 percent respectively.

Quarter over quarter, plans to add workers remain consistent among employers in all regions. Compared with one year ago at this time, employers in the South and West regions expect a slight uptick in hiring for the second quarter while employers in the Midwest and Northeast regions 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 second quarter. In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 9 percent, down two percentage points from the previous quarter and three percentage points from the same time last year. The outlook is the weakest since the second quarter of 2010.

Sixteen percent of the more than 1,900 Canadian employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the second quarter of 2014 while 4 percent anticipate cutbacks and 78 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels.

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