MILWAUKEE—U.S. hiring confidence remains strong in Q2 2018 as one in five employers report plans to grow their workforce in the three months ahead, according to a survey of more than 11,500 U.S. employers by ManpowerGroup, a workforce solutions company. The seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for Q2 2018 is up 18 percent as businesses plan to add staff across industry sectors in the second quarter. The strongest hiring intentions are in the leisure and hospitality sector, which is up 28 percent as the economy picks up.
Strong outlooks for professional and business services (up 24 percent) and wholesale and retail trade (up 23 percent) point to demand-driven growth in line with increased wages. Employers in the wholesale and retail sector 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 weakest outlooks are reported in mining (up 15 percent), government information (up 14 percent), and nondurable goods manufacturing (up 12 percent).
“We’re seeing solid, demand-fueled growth across the United States as the economy continues to strengthen and the labor market tightens at pace,” Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America, says. “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 skillsets that can adapt to fill in-demand positions.”
Employers across U.S. regions report a positive hiring outlook for Q2 2018: Midwest (up 20 percent), West (up 19 percent), South (up 18 percent), and Northeast (up 17 percent). Hiring prospects year-over-year are slightly stronger in the Midwest—up 4 percent year-over-year (YOY)—and the Northeast—up 2 percent YOY. Employers in the South and the West report relatively stable hiring intentions when compared with the second quarter of 2017.
For the coming quarter, employers in Wisconsin (up 30 percent), New Hampshire (up 30 percent), Alaska (up 29 percent), Maine (up 29 percent), and Colorado (up 27 percent) report the strongest employment outlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Provo, Utah (up 32 percent); San Antonio, Texas (up 32 percent); Madison, Wis. (up 30 percent); Columbia, S.C. (up 29 percent); Seattle, Wash. (up 29 percent); and Syracuse, N.Y. (up 29 percent).