U.S. Labor Market Tightens, Demand For Skilled Workers Continues

Manufacturing companies report the biggest growth in hiring plans, up +7% from Q2 2017, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

One in five U.S. employers plan to grow their workforce in the three months ahead, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey of more than 11,500 U.S. employers. The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook for Q2 2018 is +18%.

Organizations are planning to add staff across all 13 industry sectors in Q2 2018, according to the survey. Employers in Wholesale & Retail Trade report some of the most optimistic hiring plans in more than 16 years as online retail continues to grow and the increase in distribution workers is expected to rise. The weakest hiring plans are reported in Mining, Government Information and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing.

“We’re seeing solid, demand-fueled growth across the U.S. as the economy continues to strengthen and the labor market tightens at pace,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. “The competition for skilled talent is set to heat up and a just-in-time approach isn’t always getting employers the skills they need when they need them. Now is the time to invest in people by upskilling America’s workers. We should also seek untapped talent sources with adjacent skillsets that can adapt to fill in-demand positions.”

Employment OutlookHiring Plans By Region, Metro Areas/States

Employers in all four regions in the U.S. report a positive hiring Outlook for Q2 2018. By region, the Outlooks are: Midwest (+20%), Northeast (+17%), South (+18%), West (+19%). Hiring prospects year-over-year are slightly stronger in the Midwest (+4% year-over-year) and the Northeast (+2% year-over-year). Employers in the South and the West report relatively stable hiring intentions when compared with the second quarter of 2017.

For the coming quarter, employers in Wisconsin, New Hampshire, Alaska, Maine and Colorado report the strongest Employment Outlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Provo, UT; San Antonio, TX; Madison, WI; Columbia, SC; Seattle, WA; and Syracuse, NY.

For more survey results, visit the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey online.