Amid Ongoing Demand for Skilled Workers, U.S. Labor Market Tightens

U.S. hiring confidence remains strong in Q2 2018, as one in five employers plans to grow their workforce in the three months ahead.

Source: Sladic / iStock / Getty

So finds the latest ManpowerGroup Outlook Survey of more than 11,500 U.S. employers. Manpower also reports a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for Q2 2018 of +18 percent.

Survey Findings by Industry

Organizations are planning to add staff across all 13 industry sectors in Q2 2018.
Employers report the strongest hiring intentions in Leisure & Hospitality (+28 percent) as the economy continues to gain additional steam. Strong outlooks for Professional & Business Services (+23 percent) and Wholesale & Retail Trade (+23 percent) point to demand-driven growth in line with increased wages.
Employers in Wholesale & Retail Trade report some of the most optimistic outlooks in more than 16 years as online retail continues to grow and the increase in distribution workers is expected to rise.
The Durable Goods Manufacturing industry sector reports an increase of +19 percent; Transportation & Utilities, +19 percent; Construction, +17 percent; and Education & Health Services reports an increase of +16 percent.
Employers in the Education & Health Services industry report the strongest nationwide outlook since the sector was first analyzed separately, more than nine years ago.
The weakest outlooks – which are still strong – are in Financial Activities (+15 percent); Mining (+15 percent); Government (+14 percent); Information (+14 percent); Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+12 percent); and Other Services (+11 percent).
“We’re seeing solid, demand-fueled growth across the U.S. as the economy continues to strengthen and the labor market tightens at pace,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “The competition for skilled talent is set to heat up and a just-in-time approach isn’t always getting employers the skills they need when they need them. Now is the time to invest in people by upskilling America’s workers. We should also seek untapped talent sources with adjacent skill sets that can adapt to fill in-demand positions.”

Survey Findings by Location

Employers in all four regions in the United States report a positive hiring outlook for Q2 2018.
By region, the outlooks are:

  • Midwest, +20 percent
  • West, +19 percent
  • South, +18 percent
  • Northeast, +17 percent

By metropolitan statistical area, the locations with the highest outlooks are:

  • Provo and San Antonio, +32 percent
  • Madison, +30 percent
  • Columbia, Seattle, Syracuse, +29 percent
  • Atlanta, Denver, Fresno, Milwaukee, +28 percent
  • Harrisburg, Lakeland, Minneapolis, +27 percent

An infographic, which provides additional insight into ManpowerGroup findings, is available here.

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