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U. S. employers expect increased hiring in the first quarter compared to the same period a year ago, according to the first-quarter 2013 Manpower employment outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN). The outlook is the strongest first-quarter data collected since 2008, and is significantly stronger than the weakest first quarter outlook in the history of the survey, reported in 2010.
“The exciting news is that the outlook has been stable or shown positive growth for 15 months,” said Melanie Holmes, a vice president at ManpowerGroup.
Among U.S. employers surveyed, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces and 8 percent expect a decline in payrolls during first quarter 2013. Seventy-two percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 3 percent are undecided about hiring plans in the first quarter. This results in a net employment outlook of 9 percent, or 12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis.
“The outlook has shown no setbacks over the last 15 quarters, which reflects an ongoing state of rebuilding as employers learn to function within a state of volatility,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “Over the past few years, we have seen continued incremental growth in hiring projections, which reinforces this job growth is slow but sustained.”
ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook survey includes responses from more than 18,000 U.S. employers. This quarter’s survey was conducted prior to Hurricane Sandy. Therefore, the data does not reflect the storm’s impact on anticipated hiring decisions.
In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 13 percent, a slight increase when compared to the outlook reported in the previous quarter. This outlook is also a one percentage point drop from the Outlook reported during the same time last year.
“Canada is a little stronger than we are,” said Holmes. “Canada’s outlook represents a continued steady trend that we expect to remain favorable.”
Thirteen percent of the more than 1,900 Canadian employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the first quarter of 2013, while 7 percent anticipate cutbacks. Of employers surveyed, 78 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels while 2 percent are unsure of their hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter.
“Job seekers in all regions except Quebec are likely to benefit from a hopeful hiring climate from January through March, with employers in Western Canada and the Maritimes reporting the most positive outlook,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations, for Manpower Canada. “With regional outlooks experiencing slight increases compared to the previous quarter, job seekers should maintain confidence in the labor market as employers throughout Canada anticipate the hiring pace will remain steady through the winter. Most of the new jobs created in Canada this year have been full-time positions. This continuation of the trend toward full-time employment is an encouraging sign.”