US employers reported their strongest average annual hiring outlook in the last decade, according to the fourth-quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).
The US ranked among the strongest outlooks for hiring among the 44 countries surveyed in the report. Other countries with solid hiring outlooks included Japan, Taiwan, Romania and Slovenia.
“We continue to see optimism from employers around the world in spite of tariff disputes, proposed new populist legislation and the uncertainty of a hard or soft Brexit,” ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising said.
In the US, ManpowerGroup’s survey found 22% of US employer respondents plan to increase staff in the fourth quarter — up from 21% in the year-ago quarter — while those planning to decrease fell to 5% from 6% in the year-ago quarter. This yields a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 19% for the fourth quarter compared 17% for the year-ago quarter.
The survey included more than 59,000 employers around the world, of which 11,500 were in the US.
US organizations plan to add staff across all 13 industry sectors in the fourth quarter. Employers report the strongest hiring intentions in leisure and hospitality, where 32% plan to increase hiring, with a seasonally adjusted outlook of 28%. The outlook for professional and business services is also strong at 25%.
All regions in the US reported positive fourth-quarter hiring plans. Hiring prospects in the South and West are the strongest in more than 10 years. Employers in the Midwest report relatively stable hiring intentions, up two percentage points year-over-year.
Employers in New Mexico, North Carolina, Kansas, South Carolina and Arizona report the strongest employment 0utlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; San Jose, Calif.; Albuquerque, NM; Greenville, SC; and Winston-Salem, NC.
“August marked the 95th month in a row for job growth in the US and we anticipate we will hit 99 months by the end of the year as the Q4 Outlook has more good news for American job seekers and businesses,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America.
The labor market is returning to pre-recession levels where the most optimistic outlooks were reported in manufacturing, retail and professional services.
“It’s a similar scenario today with a big difference — manufacturing is more advanced, retail has gone online, and employers in professional roles need a new combination of digital and soft skills,” Frankiewicz said. “These are not the low-skilled jobs of the past, they are highly skilled technical roles of the future.”