Manpower: Employers plan to increase staff levels in first quarter, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

A Positive Bounce in Hiring Expected, Record Number Expect No Change

MILWAUKEE PRNewswire-FirstCall via COMTEX News Network/ — U.S. employers anticipate a moderate increase in their hiring plans for Quarter 1 2010, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.

“There is still a lot of ground to make up in the labor market, but the overall increase in hiring intentions is clearly a positive,” said Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres. “The first quarter is a seasonally slow hiring quarter. To see an increase over the fourth quarter is unusual and seems to indicate increased confidence levels from employers.”

Of the more than 28,000 employers surveyed, 12% percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their Quarter 1 2010 hiring plans, while 12% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of 0%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +6%. Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans, the highest in the survey’s history. The final 3% of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

“The data points to encouraging news. A record number of employers plan to keep staff levels stable, which is good for the employed, and an overall positive Outlook means expanding opportunities for job seekers,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. “Employer uncertainty around hiring is shifting from whether to consider adding staff, to when – and at what rate – to make the investment.”

The national survey data shows employers in Mining, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Information and Government expect hiring to moderately increase in Quarter 1 2010, while slight increases are expected among employers in Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Professional & Business Services, Education & Health Services, Leisure & Hospitality and Other Services. Employers in two industry sectors, Construction and Wholesale & Retail Trade, anticipate a slight decrease in hiring levels. Financial Activities employers intend to maintain relatively stable staff levels.

When compared to a year ago, employers in the West are the most confident, but all of the survey regions have weaker year-over-year employment outlooks. Using the seasonally adjusted data, all regions anticipate moderate quarter-over-quarter increases in staff levels, with employer confidence highest in the South and Midwest.

About the Survey

Employment services company Manpower Inc. releases the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey’s United States results are based on interviews with more than 28,000 employers located within 200 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), as defined by the federal government, and one MSA in Puerto Rico. The mix of U.S. industries within the survey follows the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Supersectors and is structured to be representative of the U.S. economy. The national survey carries a margin of error of +/- .49%.

The complete results and visuals from the U.S. national Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are available for download at, where you will also find the survey results for the 201 MSAs.