For the third quarter of 2006, 31% of U.S. employers foresee an increase in hiring activity, and 6% anticipate a decline in staff levels, according to a recently released study from Manpower Inc., Milwaukee.
Nearly 16,000 interviews have been conducted with employers across the United States to measure anticipated employment trends between July and September 2006. All participants were asked, "How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of September 2006 as compared to the current quarter?"
Fifty-seven percent expect no change in the hiring pace, while 6% are undecided about their July to September hiring plans. According to the seasonally adjusted data, employers foresee no change in the hiring pace for the third quarter of 2006. The Net Employment Outlook for the United States is identical to employment projections from second quarter and one year ago at this time.
In the U.S., employer confidence has remained relatively unchanged for 10 consecutive quarters. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, some positive industry trends emerge. Employers in four sectors -- transportation/public utilities, finance/insurance/real estate, services and public administration -- expect slightly improved employment prospects for the third quarter versus second quarter.
Employers in the durable and non-durable goods manufacturing, wholesale/retail trade and education industry sectors expect the hiring pace to remain about the same.
Employer optimism about hiring is starting to fade in two industry sectors. Construction employers are less likely to add staff in the late summer months than they were in the April to June period, although the change is minimal.
Compared to a year ago at this time, employers in non-durable goods manufacturing, transportation/public utilities, wholesale/retail trade and education express similar hiring intentions. The projected hiring pace is trending slightly upward in durable goods manufacturing, finance/insurance/real estate, services and public administration. Mining and construction employers expect a weaker hiring pace when compared with a year ago.
Among the four U.S. regions surveyed, the Northeast is the only area to report a measurable change in hiring plans over last quarter and a year ago. Employers in the Northeast expect that slightly more hiring activity is in store for the third quarter when compared to the second quarter and last year at this time. Employers in the remaining regions--the Midwest, South and West--report hiring plans that are in line with those issued for the April to June period and last year at this time.
Overall, employers in the South and West are most optimistic about their staffing plans, while those in the Midwest express the weakest hiring intentions.