Employers to Continue on with Hiring Plans

U.S. businesses report strong hiring intentions, according to the latest “Employment Outlook Survey” by ManpowerGroup. Let's go inside the latest forecast and see which sectors and regions are in growth mode. Search expert Richard Risch then weighs in.

U.S. employers are expecting hiring to pick up as we round out the second quarter, with 21 percent of employers planning to add staff, according to the latest “Employment Outlook Survey,” released by ManpowerGroup. Employers in all U.S. regions and industry sectors said they are expecting headcount to grow. This is the seventh consecutive year of double-digit hiring outlooks in the U.S., according to the survey of more than 11,500 U.S. employers.

“At a time of record low unemployment and employer optimism at levels we haven’t seen since the mid-2000s, we need to do more to connect people to jobs if we’re going to sustain economic growth,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “With such strong competition for talent, skilled workers are choosing when, where and how they work. We find jobs for 275,000 workers every year and know flexibility, access to childcare and clear career paths are especially attractive benefits to women and men.”

“To find and retain top talent, the best companies are offering holistic benefits packages with accelerated training programs and opportunities to learn, earn more and move up so employees have the skills for jobs today and tomorrow,” she said.

Hiring By Sector

Employers in all 13 national industry sectors said they expect to add to payrolls during the third quarter: professional and business services (+28 percent), leisure and hospitality (+27 percent), transportation & utilities (+25 percent), wholesale & retail trade (+24 percent), construction (+21 percent), government (+20 percent), mining (+19 percent), durable goods manufacturing (+18 percent), financial activities (+17 percent), education & health services (+16 percent), nondurable goods manufacturing (+16 percent), other services (+16 percent) and information (+14 percent).

Hiring plans were slightly stronger in five nationwide industry sectors when compared with the second quarter of 2019. Other services sector employers nationally expected the strongest labor market since the sector was first analyzed separately in 2009. Hiring intentions also improved slightly in the construction, education and health services, information, and leisure and hospitality sectors. In six national industry sectors, hiring prospects remained relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter: financial activities, durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing, mining, transportation, and utilities and wholesale and retail trade. The results for the mining sector were reported only in the national survey data to ensure statistical accuracy.

Hiring by Region

Employers in all four regions in the U.S. showed a positive outlook for the coming quarter. Employers in 28 percent of Midwest businesses surveyed said they expect to grow payrolls during the forthcoming quarter. Three percent of employers expected to trim staffing levels, and 68 percent anticipated no change. Leisure and hospitality sector employers in the Midwest reported considerably stronger hiring intentions for the next three months when compared with the previous quarter. Employers in three Midwest industry sectors anticipated moderately stronger hiring activity in comparison with the second quarter of 2019: construction, government and information.

In the Northeast, employers in 26 percent of businesses surveyed said they expect to add to payrolls during the third quarter of 2019, while four percent anticipated a decline and 69 percent expected no change. Moderately stronger hiring activity was anticipated in two of the Northeast’s industry sectors during the next three months, when compared with the second quarter of 2019: information, and professional and business services. Employers in three Northeast industry sectors expected slightly stronger labor markets when compared with the previous quarter: education and health services, government, and transportation and utilities. Northeast employers in five industry sectors reported relatively stable hiring plans quarter-over-quarter: construction, financial activities, nondurable goods manufacturing, other services, and wholesale and retail trade.


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In 26 percent of businesses surveyed in the South, employers said they expect to add to staffing levels during the July to September period. Four percent of employers expected to trim payrolls and 69 percent expected no change. Hiring intentions were moderately stronger for two industry sectors in the South when compared with the previous quarter: government and other services. Slightly stronger hiring plans were reported in four of the South’s industry sectors: construction, education and health services, financial activities, and professional and business services. In four industry sectors across the South, employers reported relatively stable hiring prospects quarter-over-quarter: information, durable goods manufacturing, nondurable goods manufacturing, and wholesale and retail.

Employers in 28 percent of businesses surveyed in the West expected workforce gains during the coming quarter, while three percent anticipated a decrease and 68 percent expected no change. In three of the West’s industry sectors, employers reported moderately stronger hiring intentions for the third quarter when compared with the previous quarter: information, professional and business services, and transportation and utilities. Slightly stronger hiring prospects were reported in four of the region’s industry sectors: financial activities, government, leisure and hospitality, and nondurable goods manufacturing.

Global Outlook

ManpowerGroup interviewed over 59,000 employers in 44 countries and territories to forecast labor market activity* in the third quarter of 2019. All participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of September 2019 as compared to the current quarter?” The ManpowerGroup research for the third quarter of 2019 revealed that employers expect workforce gains in 43 of 44 countries and territories surveyed in the period up to the end of September.

When compared with the previous quarter, employers in 18 of 44 countries and territories reported stronger hiring prospects, while employers in 18 reported weaker hiring plans and no change is anticipated in eight. In a comparison with the same period last year, hiring intentions strengthened in 12 countries and territories, but weakened in 26 and were unchanged in six. The strongest hiring sentiment was reported in Japan, Croatia, Taiwan, the U.S., Greece and Slovenia, while the weakest hiring prospects were reported for Hungary, Argentina, Italy and Spain.

Payroll gains were anticipated by employers in 25 of 26 Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region countries surveyed during the next three months, while employers in Hungary expected to trim payrolls. When compared with the second quarter of 2019, hiring prospects improved in five countries but weakened in 14. In a comparison with the third quarter of 2018, outlooks also strengthened in five countries, but declined in 17. The strongest hiring expectations for the coming quarter were reported in Croatia, Greece and Slovenia, while employers in Hungary, Italy and Spain reported the weakest hiring plans.

Employers in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories surveyed said they expect to grow payrolls in the three months to September. In a comparison with the prior quarter, hiring intentions strengthened in five countries and territories, but weakened in two. When compared with this time one year ago employers reported stronger outlooks in two countries and territories, but hiring prospects declined in five. Employers in Japan and Taiwan anticipated the strongest hiring activity during the third quarter of 2019, while the weakest outlooks were reported in China, New Zealand and Singapore.


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Job seekers in all 10 Americas countries surveyed can expect hiring opportunities in the forthcoming quarter, according to employers. When compared with the previous quarter, hiring prospects improved in eight countries, but weakened in two. In a comparison with the same period last year, outlooks improved in five countries but declined in four. U.S. and Canadian employers reported the strongest hiring prospects for the coming quarter, while the weakest outlooks were reported in Argentina and Panama.

Search Consultant Weighs In

“I always look forward to the Manpower report on nationwide hiring intentions,” said Richard Risch, founder, chairman and CEO of New York-based executive search firm The Risch Group. “First, I am a Milwaukee boy, born and raised. So I have several close contacts at the firm that I stay in touch with to talk Packers, Brewers and, of course, hiring trends.”

“Second, it helps our firm get a macro view of the employment trends underway in various sectors and geographies,” he said. “As a boutique search firm, we are constrained from having a view that extends beyond our own relationships. So we depend on reports that confirm our view of hiring. Manpower never disappoints.”

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“That said, as to the report, it coincides with what we have been experiencing in the sectors we work in so far this year,” said Mr. Risch. “In the financial services space, it has been a year of the haves and have nots. Asset managers like Neuberger Berman are killing it with substantial inflows. This despite the trend of assets moving to non-active managers. Others are struggling to retain assets and are shrinking staff size. Hedge funds have turned green for the first time in a while, with a first-quarter performance best since 2012.”

“We continue to book searches in the space,” he said. “Private equity continues to be hot space attracting new assets monthly. Lastly, many of the wealth managers are doing well, with all of them in hiring mode. The indie RIA space may be the hottest, with platforms like Dynasty providing an excellent model for independence. We continue to see work coming our way here.”

“Our tech practice is focused on cybersecurity and fintech,” Mr. Risch said. “The demand for talent in both sectors remains white hot across the entire country. We have several searches underway in both spaces. We expect that to continue for a long time. That’s the view from this small, but wired-in search firm.”

Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor

Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media. Original post here.

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