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Manpower Survey: Positive Hiring Intentions Persist Among U.S. Employers for Third Quarter

Manpower Survey: Positive Hiring Intentions Persist Among U.S. Employers for Third Quarter Largest percentage of surveyed employers since Q4 2008 plan to add staff
Positive yet careful hiring intentions are expected to persist in the U.S. throughout the summer, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup. According to the seasonally adjusted survey results, the Net Employment Outlook for Quarter 3 2011 is 8%, up from 6% during the same period last year and consistent with the 8% Outlook during Quarter 2 2011. Although positive, the Outlook of 8% is softer than the mostly double-digit Outlooks reported during previous decades.
This quarter's survey indicates the following trends:
2011 Gains Holding Steady: Since the first quarter of 2011, when the Net Employment Outlook jumped to 8% from 5% the previous quarter, hiring expectations have remained consistent.
Positive Hiring Intentions Across U.S.: Employers in all 50 states report positive hiring intentions and 42 out of 50 states anticipate considerable increases in the typically strong third quarter. Of the 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas surveyed, 99 percent report positive employment Outlooks.
Seven Straight Quarters of Employment Growth: Since Quarter 1 2010, employers have reported a positive overall hiring Outlook in each survey, according to seasonally adjusted data.
Many Sectors Gaining Momentum: Employers in nine of 13 industries surveyed nationally report the strongest overall Outlook within their sectors since Quarter 1 2009.
"Although employers are not signaling dramatic upswings in hiring plans, there does seem to be hiring energy developing based on sustained year-over-year growth," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. "This is also the eleventh consecutive quarter with a single-digit Net Employment Outlook, indicating a level of caution not seen among employers in the last 30 years of data. This fact, along with many clouds still on the economic horizon, may explain the tepid labor market growth we have seen so far."
Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 20 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 3 2011 hiring plans, while 8 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 12%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes 8%. Sixty-nine percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 3 percent of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.
"Our data shows that one in five employers plan to add staff in the next three months, the highest ratio we've seen since the recovery started," said Prising. "As more employers shift to hiring mode, we are starting to see talented job seekers receive multiple employment offers, and also negotiate for higher salaries. As hiring momentum slowly builds, the talent supply and demand challenges of the Human Age will impact hiring trends. Employers may want to hire, but they will struggle to find the right person, in the right place, which will bring a level of urgency to developing new recruiting and training strategies."
Hiring Outlooks for Industry Sectors and Regions
Employers in 11 of the 13 industry sectors surveyed have a positive Outlook for Quarter 3 2011: Leisure & Hospitality (27%), Mining (25%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (20%), Professional & Business Services (19%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (17%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (16%), Transportation & Utilities (14%), Construction (11%), Information (11), Financial Activities (11%) and Other Services (7%). Employers in two industry sectors have a slightly negative Outlook: Government (-1%) and Education & Health Services (-2%). Employers in 10 industry sectors expect prospects to increase quarter-over-quarter, with employers in Wholesale & Retail Trade anticipating the largest increase quarter-over-quarter, with a gain of eight percentage points. Employers in the Other Services industry sector look to keep staff levels stable compared to three months ago at this time, while Government employers expect the hiring pace to slightly decrease and Educational Health Services employers anticipate a moderate decrease.
Employers in all four U.S. geographic regions surveyed anticipate a positive seasonally adjusted Outlook. The third quarter 2011 hiring Outlook is brightest in the Northeast, where a slight increase in hiring plans is expected compared to the second quarter of 2011 and to one year ago at this time. Compared to one year ago, a slight increase in employment prospects is also expected in the Midwest, South and West, although the three regions are all relatively stable quarter-over-quarter.
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on September 13, 2011, to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2011. To receive e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, visit
*The Net Employment Outlook, often shortened to simply Outlook or NEO, is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.


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