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US – ManpowerGroup survey: US hiring trends stable

March 12 2013

U.S. employers expect continued stability in their workforce levels in the second quarter of 2013, according to the second-quarter 2013 Manpower employment outlook survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).

“It’s a very broad-based, steady picture,” said Melanie Holmes, a vice president at ManpowerGroup.

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 18 percent expect to add to their workforces and 5 percent expect a decline in payrolls during the second quarter of 2013. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels and the remaining 4 percent are undecided about hiring plans in the second quarter. This results in a net employment outlook of 11 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis — a decrease of one percentage point from the first quarter and a year-over-year increase of one point.

“I just don’t think one quarter and one percentage point is a trend. I’m not particularly concerned about it going down one percentage point for the quarter,” said Holmes. “I just have a feeling that it’s just a little blip.”

U.S. employers have now conveyed a positive outlook for 14 straight quarters, and the current report has least percentage of employers expecting to decrease their staff levels since the third quarter of 2000.

“That’s good for people who are currently employed, and perhaps we are having fewer layoffs,” said Holmes.

All states and all metro areas anticipate positive hiring expectations, and all 12 industry sectors also reported a positive outlook. The best industries for hiring are leisure and hospitality, professional and business services, and wholesale and retail trade. The worst industries were education and health services, government, and “other services”.

The construction industry sector anticipates a considerable increase in hiring in the Northeast, Midwest and West. With an increase of 5 percentage points in the Midwest and four in the West, these regions expect a greater increase in hiring compared to one year ago at this time, while employers in the Northeast anticipate an increase consistent with traditional second-quarter data.

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

In Canada, the seasonally adjusted net employment outlook is 12 percent, a slight decrease when compared with 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. However, results for the second quarter do represent a continued trend of respectable hiring patterns seen over the course of the last year.

Twenty percent of the more than 1,900 Canadian employers surveyed plan to increase their payrolls in the second quarter of 2013, 5 percent anticipate cutbacks and 75 percent expect to maintain current staffing levels.

“Thanks in part to expected job gains from companies such as Walmart and Green Revolution EMS, the national hiring climate should remain upbeat,” said Byrne Luft, vice president of operations for Manpower Canada. “Employers in the Transportation & Public Utilities and Construction sectors anticipate the strongest gains in the upcoming quarter, especially in Western Canada. Additionally, we’re seeing that most of the new jobs created in Canada so far this year have been full-time positions. This continuing trend toward full-time employment is an encouraging sign.”

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