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ManpowerGroup survey: US Q4 hiring trends up

September 10 2013

U.S. employers expect to increase hiring in the fourth quarter of 2013, according to the fourth-quarter 2013 Manpower employment outlook survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 18 percent expect to add to their workforces and 8 percent expect a decline in payrolls during the fourth quarter of 2013. Seventy-two percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 2 percent are undecided about fourth-quarter hiring plans. This results in a net employment outlook of 13 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, the strongest fourth-quarter outlook since the fourth quarter of 2007, when the employment outlook was 19 percent. This quarter's outlook is an increase of one percentage point from the third quarter and two percentage points from last year’s fourth quarter.

U.S. employers have now conveyed a positive outlook for 16 consecutive quarters.

“We've seen consistent, yet measured, momentum in employers' hiring plans in a steadily improving market,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “Employers have reached a level of confidence in navigating unstable conditions, and the strength of the Quarter 4 2013 survey data suggests a stronger close to 2013.”

Employers in North Carolina, South Carolina and Texas indicate the strongest net employment outlook, all at 15 percent. Employers in all metro areas anticipate positive hiring expectations, with the strongest outlook in Houston, reaching 28 percent.

All 13 industry sectors also reported a net positive outlook. The best industries for hiring are wholesale and retail trade at 22 percent; leisure and hospitality at 17 percent; and professional and business services at 13 percent. The worst industries were “other services” at 2 percent and government at 4 percent.

Quarter-over-quarter, employers in the Northeast expect a slight increase in hiring, while plans to add workers remain consistent among employers in the Midwest, South and West. Compared with one year ago at this time, employers in the Northeast and West project a slight increase in hiring in the fourth quarter, and employers in the Midwest and South expect a stable hiring environment.

ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook survey includes responses from more than 18,000 U.S. employers.

Canadian employers report conservative hiring intentions for the fourth quarter. In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 10 percent, the same as reported in the previous quarter but down one percentage point from the 11 percent outlook reported during the same time last year.

Sixteen 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 74 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels.

“Overall, a mild national hiring climate is projected in the coming quarter,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada. “The construction industry is anticipating the strongest gains, as slower growth in residential construction has been offset by strong demand in non-residential. This is expected to spur creation of new jobs on top of record high employment in the construction industry, though this is most pronounced in Western Canada. Overall, we’re seeing a trend of more companies hiring workers on a temporary or contract basis with relatively few choosing to hire full-time.”

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