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Manpower Survey reveals stable US Q1 hiring plan

The survey is published as U.S. employers report a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of 13%.

This represents the strongest Outlook reported in Quarter 1 since 2008 when the Outlook was 16%. At 13%, the Outlook is the same as the Quarter 4 2013 Outlook and is up from 12% during the same period last year.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 17 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 1 2014 hiring plans, while 7 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 10%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes 13%. Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 3 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions.

U.S. Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Results


Increase Staff Levels

Decrease Staff Levels

Maintain Staff Levels

Don't Know

Net Employment Outlook


Q1 2014







Q4 2013

(previous quarter)






Q1 2013

(one year ago)






"Employers remain optimistic and continue to gradually improve their hiring projections despite the uneven economic recovery and other global and domestic influences," said Jonas Prising, President, ManpowerGroup. "We're starting to see talent strategy match the importance of business strategy as individuals with the right skills and experience become harder to find. Today, almost every major business decision focuses on knowing how to access, mobilize and optimize workforces to remain competitive."

This quarter's research shows that employer hiring confidence remains stable quarter-over-quarter. This stability is reflected in the Net Employment Outlook for 12 of the 13 industry sectors, as employers report relatively stable hiring intentions.

"There will always be regional swings in one industry or another, but this quarter's topline consistency with the results from last quarter and one year ago indicates that employers are clinging to their competitive positions," said Prising. "However, for widespread employment growth to occur, we will need to see hiring intentions increase at a much faster pace."

Although first-quarter Outlooks remain relatively stable across all regions, the states and Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) indicate some variance in hiring intentions. Among the 50 states, employers in North Dakota indicate the strongest Net Employment Outlook at 17%. Only one state, Montana, has a negative Outlook at -2%. Employers in the majority of the 100 MSAs surveyed report positive hiring plans, with Deltona, Fla., the most positive at 24%. At the other end of the spectrum, Buffalo, N.Y., employers report the weakest Outlook at -2%.

Hiring Outlooks for Industry Sectors and Regions
New this quarter, the survey results include deseasonalized data at the industry level, which aligns with the methodology used to tabulate and present the national and regional data. Therefore, the numbers presented below are deseasonalized across all industries.

For Quarter 1 2014, employers have a positive Outlook in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey: Leisure & Hospitality (23%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (19%), Professional & Business Services (16%), Transportation & Utilities (13%), Information (13%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (12%), Mining (11%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (10%), Financial Activities (10%), Construction (9%), Education & Health Services (8%), Other Services (6%) and Government (6%). When the industry sector data is compared quarter-over-quarter, staff levels are expected to remain relatively stable among employers in 12 industry sectors. Only Transportation & Utilities employers anticipate a slight decrease in the hiring pace.

Employers in all four U.S. regions surveyed report positive Net Employment Outlooks. Quarter-over-quarter, plans to add workers remain consistent among employers in all regions. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the South project a slight increase in hiring for Quarter 1 2014, while employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West expect a relatively stable hiring environment.

As a supplement to the Quarter 1 2014 survey results, an infographic is available for download at "Where Are The Jobs?" offers a snapshot of data and trends from the survey, including key metro area and state Outlooks along with an industry forecast.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on March 11, 2014, to report hiring expectations for Quarter 2 2014. 

*The Net Employment Outlook 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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