Employers Prepare for the Future: Hiring Expected to Pick Up for Q2 2021

With the roll out of the American Rescue Plan comes renewed hope for increasing headcounts in the second quarter of 2021.

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The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey reveals that hiring outlooks continue to improve for the second quarter of 2021, according to more than 7,500 U.S employers. Employers in all 12 U.S. industries report positive outlooks, with the strongest hiring activity forecast in leisure abs hospitality sector (+27%), transportation and utilities (+23%), and wholesale and retail trade (+22%).

There Is a Light at the End of the Tunnel

Employers are more optimistic about a return to pre-pandemic hiring than last quarter, with more than half (52%) expecting pre-pandemic hiring levels will return before the end of 2021. 

ManpowerGroup also reports that employers anticipate a return to pre-pandemic hiring, as vaccine rollouts progress. According to the Outlook, 32% of employers expect to return to pre-pandemic hiring levels by July 2021, and a further 20% before the end of the year.

Strongest hiring outlooks reported in:

  • Rhode Island (+29%),
  • Wisconsin (+29%),
  • Michigan (+28%),
  • Vermont (+28%), and
  • Arizona (+26%).

Weakest hiring outlook reported in:

  • Louisiana (+9%),
  • Connecticut (+5%) and
  • Hawaii (-2%).

Additional Findings

ManpowerGroup also reports that as more vaccines are approved and rolled out employers are torn on whether to mandate or not. Almost half (48%) of employers have no plans to mandate vaccination, 17% will encourage by promoting the benefits, 4% plan to require employees to be vaccinated, and 31% are undecided.

Over the next 6-12 months, the Outlook found that 56% of employees will be back in the workplace most of the time, 19% will offer a hybrid work with more remote work, 10% will offer flexibility shift patterns, 6% will shift to full remote work, and 9% are undecided.

“The American workforce and labor market is resilient, and we have a silver lining in sight with the vaccine roll out boosting optimism for the months ahead,” says Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America—in a press release. “It’s encouraging to see positive outlooks reported in leisure and hospitality and retail. As we continue to navigate the road to recovery there will be twists and turns, yet slow progress will continue as employers prepare to renew and reset and focus on getting America safely back to work.”

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

Employers in all 12 U.S. industry sectors expect to add workers during the upcoming quarter:

  • Leisure and hospitality (+27%),
  • Transportation and utilities (+23%),
  • Wholesale and retail trade (+22%),
  • Nondurable goods manufacturing (+20%),
  • Professional and business services (+19%),
  • Durable goods manufacturing (+18%),
  • Construction (+15%),
  • Education and health services (+14%),
  • Financial activities (+12%),
  • Government (+9%),
  • Information (+9%), and
  • Other services (+9%). 

Employers in all four U.S. regions report positive hiring plans for the next 3 months.  The Midwest, West, and South all report Outlooks of +18%, with the Northeast reporting an Outlook of +16%, unchanged for the previous quarter. 

Employers in Rhode Island (+29%), Wisconsin (+29%), Michigan (+28%), Vermont (+28%), and Arizona (+26%) report the strongest outlooks nationwide. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest outlooks are expected Madison, Wisconsin (+38%), Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, Florida (+37%), Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota (+33%), Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, Pennsylvania/New Jersey (+32%), and Provo-Orem, Utah (+31%).

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