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U.S. hiring plans remain solid for Q2 2015

When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is 16% for the April - June timeframe, the same as the Q1 Outlook. The current forecast reflects an improvement from Q2 2014 when the Outlook was 13%. 

At a global level, Outlooks are positive in 40 of 42 countries and territories, with only employers in Brazil and Italy expecting overall workforce reductions. This is the lowest number of countries and territories reporting negative outlooks since the third quarter of 2008. Weak hiring intentions are also reported in Austria, Belgium and France though labor market uncertainty extends beyond Europe with few signs of gaining any real momentum. For instance, employer confidence has declined in China, where the forecast has dipped to a level not reported since 2009, and in Brazil the forecast turns negative for the first time since the survey launched there in Q4 2009. This follows considerable declines compared to both the prior quarter and last year at this time.

U.S. Results Summary

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 22 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels during Q2 2015, while 4 percent expect to reduce workforce levels. Seventy-two percent of employers report no change, and the final 2 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the U.S. Net Employment Outlook is 16%.

Quarter                Increase Staff Levels      Decrease Staff Levels     Maintain Staff Levels      Don't Know        Net Employment Outlook


Q2 2015

(current)              22%        4%          72%        2%          16%

Q1 2015

(previous quarter)           19%        6%          73%        2%          16%

Q2 2014

(one year ago)  19%        4%          73%        4%          13%

"For some time, U.S. employers have been experiencing incremental increases in demand for goods and services despite ongoing uncertainty in global economies," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup CEO. "Although growth remains modest, employers believe it is sustainable, and that confidence is reflected in their hiring plans. We're seeing the rising tide of the economy extend broadly across geographies and sectors, which is positively impacting the labor market."

U.S. Hiring Plans by Regions, Industry Sectors and States/Metro Areas

The second quarter research shows quarter-over-quarter consistency in hiring plans for three out of four U.S. regions: the Northeast, Midwest and West. In the South, hiring intentions decline slightly. Compared with a year ago, staffing plans have improved across all four regions. 

Employers have a positive Outlook in all 13 industry sectors included in the survey, with Leisure & Hospitality, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Professional & Business Services employers reporting the strongest intent to staff up. Hiring intentions are also notable in Financial Activities, Education & Health Services and Government, all of which report their most promising hiring plans since prior to 2009.

Employers in all 50 states have positive hiring Outlooks. Those most optimistic include employers in Idaho, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Nebraska and Oregon. Employers in West Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma, Kansas, New Jersey and Louisiana report the weakest Outlooks.

Among employers in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in:

•             Boise, Idaho

•             Jacksonville, Fla.

•             Grand Rapids, Mich.

•             Milwaukee

•             Seattle

The weakest Outlooks are projected in:

•             Oklahoma City

•             Youngstown, Ohio

•             El Paso, Texas

•             Wichita, Kan.

•             Birmingham, Ala.

•             Baton Rouge, La.

Global Results Summary

•             More than 65,000 employers across 42 countries and territories were interviewed to anticipate global labor market activity. Staffing levels are expected to grow in 40 of the 42 countries and territories during the April-June 2015 period. This compares with 38 of 42 in Q1 2015.

•             Hiring intentions improve in 15 of 42 countries and territories when compared with the previous quarter, but decline in 18. When compared year-over-year, hiring intentions strengthen in 18 countries and territories but decline in 20.

•             The most optimistic Net Employment Outlooks are reported in Taiwan, India, Japan, Panama and New Zealand, while the weakest are reported in Italy, Brazil, Austria, Belgium and France. Italy and Brazil are the only countries where employers expect to reduce headcounts.

"The labor market recovery continues to be uneven globally.  Employers are acutely aware of, and susceptible to, unfolding geopolitical events that can force them to change their hiring plans quickly," added Prising. "We are seeing a mixed picture in emerging markets, with Indian employers expecting a bright hiring climate, Chinese employers cautious, and hiring prospects in Brazil continuing to weaken. In Europe, the outlook is more positive in Greece and Spain, but the picture remains bleak in Italy, where the outlook has been negative every quarter for more than four years."

Complete results for the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are available for download. Data specific to the U.S. can be found here, and results for all 42 countries and territories surveyed are available here.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on June 9, 2015, to report hiring intentions for Quarter 3 2015. Visit our website to register to receive email notification when the survey is available each quarter.

*The Net Employment Outlook, often shortened to 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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