Manpower Survey Says That U.S. Hiring is Expected to Inch Up in Q3

Hiring confidence among U.S. employers continues to inch up as all states, regions and industries surveyed report a positive Net Employment Outlook, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.


The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook for Q3 is +11 percent, slightly up from +10 percent in Q2 and +8 percent during the same period last year.

Other highlights:

  • Employer confidence builds. Q3 marks the first double-digit Outlook across all four regions since 2008.
  • 92 percent of companies expect similar or growing staff levels. This continued climb in confidence marks 11 straight quarters of a positive overall hiring Outlook, which were preceded by three (3) quarters of pessimistic employment plans.
  • Positive trend continues across the U.S. Employers in all 50 states expect to add staff. All 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas surveyed also report positive hiring intentions.
  • Industry-wide optimism. For the first time since 2008, the survey shows two consecutive quarters of positive Outlooks in all industries across all four regions surveyed.

Sector data

Employers have a positive Outlook in all 13 industry sectors: Leisure & Hospitality (+30 percent), Professional & Business Services (+20 percent), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+19 percent), Mining (+17 percent), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+15 percent), Transportation & Utilities (+14 percent), Financial Activities (+14 percent), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+13 percent), Construction (+12 percent), Information (+12 percent), Other Services (+10 percent), Government (+7 percent) and Education & Health Services (+6 percent).

When compared quarter over quarter, employers in the Wholesale & Retail Trade anticipate a moderate hiring increase. The hiring pace is expected to slightly increase in seven (7) sectors: Construction, Information, Financial Activities, Professional & Business Services, Leisure & Hospitality, Other Services, and Government. Employers in the Durable and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities and Education & Health Services sectors anticipate a relatively stable hiring pace, while employers in the Mining sector expect the hiring pace to slightly decline quarter over quarter.

Regional data

A positive Outlook is reported in all four U.S. regions. Quarter over quarter, hiring plans are slightly up among employers in the South and remain essentially the same among employers in the Northeast, Midwest and West. Compared to one year ago, the Midwest, South and West regions project a slight increase in hiring and the Northeast expects a relatively stable hiring environment.

Behind the numbers

Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 21% anticipate an increase in staff levels in Q3, while 6 percent expect a decrease, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +15 percent. When seasonally adjusted, the Outlook becomes +11 percent. Some 71 percent of employers expect no change in hiring plans, and 2 percent are undecided.

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What’s it all mean?

“In our on-demand world, seeing long-term changes can be difficult, but it is important to keep in mind that employer confidence has been on an upward trajectory for three years,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. “While slow and sometimes frustrating, job growth has proven to be sustainable, and the data shows a solid foundation is in place for continued progress.”

About the survey

The quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease their employment levels in the upcoming quarter. It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus.

Want more? The complete results — including detailed breakdowns by industry, country, region, state and MSA — are available here.

This was originally published on Manpower Group’s Employment Blawg.

Mark Toth has served as Manpower Group North America's Chief Legal Officer since 2000. He also serves on the company’s Global Leadership Team, Global Legal Lead Team and North American Lead Team. Mark is recognized as an expert on legal issues affecting the U.S. workplace and is frequently quoted in media from The Wall Street Journal to 60 Minutes. He is also a past Chair of the American Staffing Association and is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources. Contact him at


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