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ManpowerGroup just released its quarterly Employment Outlook Survey, which measures employers’ intentions to hire new employees during the following quarter (January to March 2013). Manpower has been conducting this survey for the past 50 years, and this sample includes 18,000 employers in all 50 states, the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

Overall, the Net Employment Outlook for Quarter 1 2013 is +12 percent, a 1 percentage point increase from Quarter 4 2012 and a 3 percentage point increase from Q1 2012. US employers have communicated a positive outlook for 13 quarters in a row.

All four US regions have a positive outlook for the first quarter of 2013. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, employers in the West region report the strongest prediction for hiring trends at +13 percent:

Quarter-over-quarter, plans to add workers remain consistent among employers in the Midwest and South, while employers in the Northeast and West expect hiring to slightly increase. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the Midwest expect a relatively stable hiring environment, employers in the Northeast and South project a slight increase in hiring, and employers in the West expect a moderate increase in the hiring pace for Quarter 1 2013.

Q1 2013 Hiring Trends Highlights

  • 8 percent plan to decrease staff
  • 72 percent plan to keep staff steady
  • 3 percent unsure of plans

Best States for Job Seekers

North Dakota, Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, Delaware and Nebraska.

Best Metro Areas for Job Seekers

  • Coral Gables – Fort Myers, FL
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Tucson, AZ
  • San Francisco, CA
  • Salt Lake City, UT
  • Austin, TX
  • El Paso, TX

Worst States for Job Seekers

Maine, Kansas, West Virginia, Missouri, Oregon and Nevada.

Worst Metro Areas for Job Seekers

  • St. Louis, MO
  • Portland, ME
  • Witchita, KS
  • Spokane, WA
  • Youngstown, OH
  • New York, NY
  • Jacksonville, FL

Industries With Most Optimistic Employment Outlook

  • Wholesale & Retail Trade (+17 percent)
  • Leisure & Hospitality (+14 percent)
  • Professional & Business Services (+13 percent)
  • Information (+12 percent)
  • Financial Activities (+11 percent)

Industries With the Least Optimistic Employment Outlook

  • Construction (-2 percent)
  • Transportation & Utilities (+4 percent)
  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+5 percent)
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing (+5 percent)

In summary, hiring trends are slowly regathering strength in the US. The lowest point was in 2009, but the numbers have been climbing ever since, which is good news for both employers and job seekers!

Does your company plan to hire new employees in the beginning of 2013?

Save Money With Smart Hiring Practices

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