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ManpowerGroup survey: US hiring trends edge up

June 11 2013

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

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 22 percent expect to add to their workforces — the highest percentage of employers projecting an increase in hiring since before 2009 — and 6 percent expect a decline in payrolls during the third quarter of 2013. Seventy percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 2 percent are undecided about third-quarter hiring plans. This results in a net employment outlook of 12 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, an increase of one percentage point from the second quarter as well as the year-ago third quarter.

U.S. employers have now conveyed a positive outlook for 15 straight quarters.

“Boring can be good to some degree because we are just constantly around something positive, but it's just not very aggressive growth,” said Michael Doyle, Manpower vice president and general manager. “It is inching up slowly, which is obviously frustrating because we would like to see more momentum.”

For the second consecutive quarter, all states and all metro areas anticipate positive hiring expectations. All 13 industry sectors also reported a net positive outlook. The best industries for hiring are leisure and hospitality at 30 percent, and wholesale and retail trade at 20 percent. Mining, construction, and professional and business services follow at 18 percent each. The worst industries were education and health services at 6 percent, and government at 9 percent.

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

“Continued uncertainty plays a critical role in hiring decisions, and employers are forced to function in a fast-moving business environment where local and global events impact employment strategies more than ever before,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “These new market conditions require employers to think differently about workforce models and the talent they need for business success. Many economic indicators pointed toward measured optimism during the first half of the year, and our third quarter data show a rise in hiring intentions that demonstrates improved demand for products and services.”

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

In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 9 percent, a slight decrease when compared with the outlook reported in the previous quarter. This outlook is also a three-percentage point drop from the outlook reported during the same time last year. However, results for the third quarter do represent some encouraging signs.

Twenty-one percent of the more than 1,900 Canadian employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the third quarter of 2013, 6 percent anticipate cutbacks and 71 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels.

“Overall, a moderate national hiring climate is projected in the coming quarter,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada. “While most industries are expected to see little change over the previous quarter, employers in the Transportation & Public Utilities and Construction sectors anticipate the strongest gains, especially in Western Canada. This is due in part to continued government infrastructure spending, in accordance with Canada's Economic Action Plan 2013.”

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