Hiring outlook survey finds optimism for Q4 in Midwest, nationwide

A new hiring outlook survey from Milwaukee’s ManpowerGroup found employers in the Midwest and across the country are looking to bring on more workers in the next three months.

“August marked the 95th month in a row for job growth in the U.S., and we anticipate we’ll hit 99 months by the end of the year as the Q4 Outlook has more good news for American jobseekers and businesses,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America.

ManpowerGroup is reporting a “Net Employment Outlook” of 19 percent, based on a survey of more than 11,500 U.S. employers. This value comes from the percentage of employers  anticipating an increase in hiring activity, minus the percentage of employers expecting to decrease hiring activity.

Since the late 1990’s, the net employment outlook has only dipped below zero once, in 2009. It’s been on a slow incline since then.

This survey divides the United States into four regions: West, Midwest, South and Northeast.

The West had an outlook of 20 percent, up 3 percent from the previous quarter. The Midwest had 18 percent, down 1 percent from the last quarter. The South had 20 percent, up 1 percent from Q3. And the Northeast had 18 percent, up 2 percent from the last quarter.

The Northeast’s outlook was unchanged over the year; all others were up 2 percent from Q4 of 2017.

In the Midwest, workforce gains are expected by 20 percent of businesses for the coming quarter, while 5 percent expect to cut workers. Seventy-four percent expect no change.

All 13 of ManpowerGroup’s industry sectors are optimistic, according to the survey. High-performers include: leisure and hospitality, with a 28 percent outlook; professional and business services, 25 percent; and transportation and utilities, 24 percent. Report authors says these “reflect continued economic expansion and growth of online retail that’s increasing the demand for drivers.”

Nationwide, durable goods manufacturing had an outlook of 19 percent, and non-durable goods manufacturing had an outlook of 17 percent.

The top states’ in the survey were New Mexico, 28 percent; North Carolina, 28 percent; Kansas, 27 percent; South Carolina, 25 percent; and Arizona, 24 percent.

ManpowerGroup released the survey results yesterday, a day after releasing a global survey tapping employers on the same issues. That international survey found 43 of 44 countries with positive hiring outlooks.

The strongest optimism was seen in Japan, Taiwan, the United States, Romania and Slovenia. And the weakest hiring prospects are in Switzerland and Argentina.

Tapping 59,000 employers in 44 countries and territories, ManpowerGroup found strengthening hiring intentions in 22 countries, no change in eight countries, and weakening intentions in 14 countries.

See the U.S. report: http://manpowergroup.us/MEOS/2018/Q4-docs/meos-report.pdf

Download the global report here: http://www.manpowergroup.com/workforce-insights/data-driven-workforce-insights/manpowergroup-employment-outlook-survey-results

–By Alex Moe