Recruiting News

U.S. Employers Report the Most Optimistic Hiring Outlook in a Decade

Talent acquisition professionals should expect a busy start to 2018, based on the latest Employment Outlook Survey from ManpowerGroup, a leading global workforce solutions company.

U.S. employers report the strongest hiring intentions in 10 years as employers across the country look to add staff in the first quarter of 2018. Indeed, hiring momentum continues to strengthen, according to the more than 11,500 U.S. employers surveyed.

The seasonally adjusted net employment outlook for the first quarter of 2018 is +19 percent. The net employment outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.

Outlook by Industry

Job prospects in the Transportation & Utilities sector nationwide are the strongest reported since the survey started in the first quarter of 1982, while employers in Construction and Durable Goods Manufacturing sectors forecast the strongest outlooks in more than a decade.

Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect to add staff in the first quarter of 2018. The top outlooks by industry are:

  • Leisure & Hospitality (+28 percent)
  • Transportation & Utilities (+26 percent)
  • Professional & Business Services (+23 percent)
  • Wholesale & Retail Trade (+23 percent)
  • Durable Goods Manufacturing (+19 percent)
  • Construction (+18 percent)
  • Education & Health Services (+14 percent)
  • Financial Activities (+14 percent)
  • Information (+14 percent)
  • Mining (+14 percent)
  • Government (+13 percent)
  • Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+13 percent)
  • Other Services (+13 percent)

“We’re seeing a renaissance in industries like construction and manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “These are not the jobs of the past – many are highly skilled roles that will build America’s future. Strong hiring intentions tell us employers have positions to fill, yet we know they’re struggling to find people with the right skills to fill them.”

This marks the 14th consecutive quarter with an overall outlook of +15 percent or stronger. Nationwide hiring prospects are slightly stronger from last quarter and when compared to one year ago.

Outlook by Region

Employers in all four regions in the U.S. have a positive outlook for their Q1 2018 hiring plans. When compared with the previous quarter, the net employment outlook increased by 2 percentage points. In the Midwest, the outlook is the strongest reported since the beginning of 2001. Hiring prospects remain stable in the other three regions.

For the coming quarter, employers in Georgia, Florida, Hawaii, and Utah report the strongest net employment outlook.

Among the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Cape Coral, Florida; Ogden, Utah; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Los Angeles, California; Phoenix, Arizona; and Charlotte, North Carolina.