- Less than one-third of employers (24%) expect a hiring increase in the second quarter (Q2) of 2019, according to ManpowerGroup's Employment Outlook Survey, which was based on 11,600 interviews of U.S.-based employers. Though 72% of interviewed employers did not report a planned payroll increase for Q2, the data showed an overall positive hiring forecast (+19%) across the country.
- The survey examined "net employment outlook," or the percentage of employers expecting hiring to increase subtracted from the percentage of employers decreasing payrolls in Q2. The research uncovered hiring optimism in all 13 industries, with the best net employment outlooks planned in leisure and hospitality (+25%); transportation and utilities (+25%); wholesale and retail trade (+24%); and professional and business services (+23%). Despite net increases anticipated in every sector, the survey reported slightly weaker hiring expected in seven industries compared with the previous quarter: construction; education and health services; government; leisure and hospitality; non-durable goods manufacturing; professional and business services; and transportation and utilities.
- The South and the West have the highest regional net employment outcomes (+20%), according to the survey, followed by the Midwest (+19%) and the Northeast (+18%). Among metro areas, Greensboro, North Carolina (+35%); Denver (+34%); Indianapolis (+33%); and Sacramento, California (+32) have the highest net employment outcomes.
In the first quarter of 2019, a ManpowerGroup survey put hiring intentions at a 12-year high, and its hiring projections for Q2 appear to be equally positive. Other recent research points to an uptick in hiring for small businesses, too; more than half of small businesses have projected hiring increases for the year. As of last October, there were 1 million more open jobs than unemployed people, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and it would appear that skilled workers still have the upper hand in today's labor market.
However, as good as the news is for workers, employers can expect the talent competition to be even more stringent. To be competitive, employers will need to offer benefits workers want most, such as paid family leave, flexible work schedules, remote work options and career development opportunities. Employers might also consider how creating a culture of recognition and inclusion and providing workers opportunities for meaningful work might make them feel more fulfilled — and give employers a competitive edge in hiring.
While workers value benefits and perks nearly as much, salary is a top motivator. Employers will need to adopt recruiting and hiring strategies that set them apart from their competitors, which might include raising pay rates.