Survey Shows 4-Year High in Employer Hiring Confidence

U.S. employers report a boost in confidence as the percentage of employers planning to add staff reaches a four-year high, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Here’s a handy info graphic titled Where the Jobs Are. It offers a snapshot of data and trends from the survey, including key state and metro-specific outlooks, along with an industry forecast.


The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook for Q2 2013 is +12 percent, up a point from Q2 and slightly up from + 11 percent during the same period last year.

Other highlights:

  • Positive trend in all states and metro areas. Employers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia report positive hiring plans.
  • Slight increase in employers decreasing staff levels. The overall percentage of employers who anticipate staff reductions is at 6 percent, up 1 percentage point from Q2.
  • Stable hiring plans. Some 70 percent say they plan to maintain current staff levels, down just slightly from Q2.

Best and worst regions?

The best region for jobs in Q3? The West, with + 13 percent.

The worst? The Northeast region, reporting + 9 percent.

Sunny and cloudy sectors remaining strong?

Leisure & Hospitality, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Mining, Construction and Professional and Business Services have a sunny outlook for Q3.

Education & Health Services and Government have a cloudy outlook.

Behind the numbers

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 22 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in Q3, while 6 percent expect a decrease, resulting in a seasonally adjusted Outlook of + 12 percent. And, 70 percent of employers expect no change in hiring plans, while 2 percent are undecided.

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What’s it all mean?

“The slow and steady improvements we’ve seen quarter over quarter have formed a launch pad for continued progress,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “Positive hiring intentions are critical for economic growth, but having the right talent available to fill open positions is the other side of the coin.”

He added: “Without a qualified pool of candidates ready for employment, economic growth may be hampered as businesses aren’t able to meet increased demand due to unfilled positions. Through increased collaboration between educators, government and the private sector, we can shrink the talent mismatch and build upon our current momentum.”

The quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease their employment levels in the upcoming quarter. It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus.

The complete results — including detailed breakdowns by industry, country, region, state and MSA — are available here.

Eighth Annual Talent Shortage Survey

ManpowerGroup’s eighth annual Talent Shortage Survey reveals employers are still having difficulty finding staff with the right skills for open positions. What’s more, nearly half of U.S. employers recognize that talent shortages impact their ability to serve clients and customers. Read the full report here.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at