New Hiring Outlook Shows Steady Economic Progress and Encouraging Job Prospects

U.S. employers are cautiously optimistic about hiring plans going into Quarter 1 2017, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. The Net Employment Outlook for Quarter 1 2017 is +16%, a decline of two percentage points compared to the previous quarter, taking into account seasonal variations.

Anticipated hiring in Q1 2017 is relatively stable compared to 1 year ago. Employers in all 13 industry sectors are planning to increase their payrolls, with employers in Leisure & Hospitality continuing to report the strongest hiring intentions.

Of the more than 11,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 19% anticipate increasing staff levels in Quarter 1 2017. This is a 3% decrease from Quarter 4 2016, and a 1% decrease from Quarter 1 2016. Six percent of employers expect workforce reductions and 73% expect no change in hiring plans.

The final two percent of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions, resulting in a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +16% . Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect payrolls to increase during Quarter 1 2017, with Leisure and Hospitality (+27%), Wholesale and Retail Trade (+20%), Transportation and Utilities (+19%), and Professional and Business Services (+17%) employers reporting the strongest hiring intentions.

“In the wake of recent political events the majority of U.S. employers are now cautiously optimistic and intend to increase or keep their headcount stable for the next three months,” said Kip Wright, senior vice president, Manpower North America. “This a positive sign for job seekers and the economy at the start of 2017. But not all skills are created equal. We continue to see significant differences between industries and employers demanding increasingly specific skills to fill positions. Ensuring people can prosper and businesses can compete depends on developing a U.S. workforce that is prepared for the jobs of today, tomorrow, and the future.”

U.S. Hiring Plans by Regions, Industry Sectors and Metro Areas/States

Net Employment Outlooks are relatively stable in three of the four U.S. regions surveyed when compared with Quarter 4 2016. Hiring prospects decrease slightly in the South when compared with Q4 2016.

Compared to 1 year ago at this time, hiring plans are relatively stable in the Northeast and South, decrease slightly in the Midwest, and are unchanged in the West. Among the 50 states, employers in Oregon, Hawaii, Florida, Iowa, California, and Oklahoma report the strongest Net Employment Outlooks, while Wyoming, Puerto Rico, North Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana project the weakest Outlooks.

Among employers in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in:

  • Deltona, FL
  • Cape Coral, FL
  • Fresno, CA
  • Des Moines, IA
  • North Port, FL
  • San Antonio, TX

The weakest outlooks are projected in:

  • Cleveland, OH
  • Chicago, IL
  • Youngstown, OH
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Dayton, OH
  • Akron, OH

The infographic below highlights more key findings from this survey. Complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey are available for download at .