Hiring Up in Second Quarter

According to a Manpower Inc. report, 16 percent of the U.S. employers it interviewed expect to add to their workforces, while 6% expect a decline in their payrolls during Quarter 2 2011. Seventy-four percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 4% of employers are undecided about their Quarter 2 2011 hiring plans.

When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is +8%. Survey results suggest that employers expect a relatively stable hiring pace during Quarter 2 2011 compared to Quarter 1 2011. The April – June Outlook for the U.S. shows a slight increase compared to one year ago at this time. Following a negative Outlook in the final three quarters of 2009, U.S. employers have now expressed a positive outlook for six straight quarters.

On a regional basis, quarter-over-quarter, hiring plans are stable in the Northeast, South and West, while Midwest employers report a slight decline in hiring confidence. Compared to one year ago at this time, employers in the Midwest, South and West report slightly more optimistic staffing plans, while the Northeast is stable. The outlook in the West, where hiring plans have been the most conservative among the regions for the last five quarters, is the most promising since Quarter 4 2008.

For Quarter 2 2011, employers have a positive Outlook in all of the 13 industry sectors included in the survey: Leisure & Hospitality (+21%), Mining (+21%), Professional & Business Services (+15%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+14%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+12%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+11%), Financial Activities (+9%), Information (+9), Transportation & Utilities (+8%), Other Services (+7%), Construction (+6%), Education & Health Services (+6%) and Government (+1%).

Payroll levels are expected to moderately increase among durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation & utilities and financial activities employers, while wholesale & retail Trade, Professional & Business Services and Other Services sector employers anticipate a slight increase. Three industry sector employers plan to keep staff levels stable: Information, Education & Health Services and Government. For the first time since Q1 2009 when Manpower Inc.’s survey methodology was revised, none of the sectors surveyed report a negative Net Employment Outlook.

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