U.S. Employers’ Hiring Plans Remain Stable for the Fourth Quarter

Milwaukee — Sept. 11

Despite several challenging external factors, U.S. hiring decision makers intend to continue hiring at a steady pace, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey by ManpowerGroup.

According to the seasonally adjusted survey results, the Net Employment Outlook for fourth quarter 2012 is plus-11 percent, unchanged from third quarter of this year and slightly elevated from plus-8 percent during the year-earlier period.

This quarter’s research concludes:

Strongest Fourth Quarter Outlook in Five Years: The Net Employment Outlook of plus-11 percent is the strongest fourth quarter data collected since 2007.

Three Years of Reserved Growth: According to seasonally adjusted data, hiring intentions have grown increasingly confident throughout the last three years with no declines in the Net Employment Outlook quarter-over-quarter. The continued climb in confidence marks three years of gradually improving hiring intentions, which were preceded by three quarters of pessimistic employment plans.

Regaining Strength: The Net Employment Outlook is slowly regaining strength as it builds toward the strongest Outlook of the past decade. Before hitting its weakest mark of minus-2 percent in third quarter 2009, the Outlook reached its strongest point of the last decade at plus-21 percent in third quarter 2006. At plus-11 percent, the fourth quarter 2012 outlook is halfway between the two.

Positive Trend Continues: Hiring intentions continue to climb, with employers in 49 out of 50 states reporting positive hiring intentions. Similarly, employers in 99 out of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas report positive hiring intentions to close out the year.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 17 percent anticipate an increase in staff levels in their fourth quarter hiring plans, while 9 percent expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of plus-8 percent.

Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook becomes plus-11 percent. Seventy-two percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 2 percent of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

Source: ManpowerGroup