optimism among employersManpowerGroup’s latest Employment Outlook Survey reveals stable hiring plans for early 2014 and continued optimism among employers who have reported a 13 percent increase in net employment during the current quarter. This employment outlook is the strongest measured since 2008. Of the 18,000 employers surveyed, 17 percent foresee a rise in staffing levels during Q1 2014 while 7 percent expect payroll decreases. Nearly three-quarters of employers expect to see no changes to their hiring plans.

“Employers remain optimistic and continue to gradually improve their hiring projections despite the uneven economic recovery and other global and domestic influences,” said Jonas Prising, president of ManpowerGroup. “We’re starting to see talent strategy match the importance of business strategy as individuals with the right skills and experience become harder to find. Today, almost every major business decision focuses on knowing how to access, mobilize and optimize workforces to remain competitive.”

Hiring confidence remains stable quarter-over-quarter with stable hiring intentions in 12 of the 13 industry sectors.

“There will always be regional swings in one industry or another, but this quarter’s topline consistency with the results from last quarter and one year ago indicates that employers are clinging to their competitive positions,” said Prising. “However, for widespread employment growth to occur, we will need to see hiring intentions increase at a much faster pace.”

First-quarter outlooks for 2014 are relatively stable across all regions, but employers in North Dakota reported the strongest employment outlook at +17 percent. The state with the only negative outlook, Montana, has a net index of -2 percent. Most of the 100 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) also report positive hiring plans with Deltona, FL leading the pack at +24 percent. The MSA with the weakest outlook is Buffalo, NY at -2 percent.


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