Manpower Report Predicts Little Change in Hiring Next Quarter

If you think any plans to increase hiring is good news, then get yourself a copy of the Manpower quarterly employment outlook for 2009. (Link at bottom.) Even though two-thirds of American companies expect no change in their workforce numbers during the first quarter of 2009, 16 percent say they’ll be hiring.

A year ago 22 percent predicted hiring gains. Curiously, about the same number of companies expect to reduce the workforce in the 1st quarter as did last year. Thirteen percent now say cuts are coming compared to 12 percent a year ago.

It’s in the big, wide middle where the numbers have shifted. The 67 percent of the companies that say they’ll neither grow nor shrink is almost 12 percent higher than a year ago. In the outlook for the 1st quarter of 2008 Manpower said 60 percent of the surveyed companies foresaw no workforce changes. What changed were the number of hiring companies.

As you might expect, construction expects to continue to shed workers; 22 percent of the surveyed companies say their payrolls will shrink during the quarter. Transportation & Utilities and the two manufacturing sectors — durable and non-durable goods — all predict a net loss of jobs during the quarter.

Surprisingly, the Leisure & Hospitality industry expects hiring to pick up. Despite suffering severe losses in the last few months, 21 percent of the surveyed companies in the sector expect to be hiring. Mining companies, though, are even more optimistic about their hiring. A quarter of all the surveyed companies say they plan to hire during the next quarter. It would be better news if mining wasn’t the smallest in terms of total workers employed.

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Manpower also released a list of 201 metropolitan areas in the U.S., ranking them according to their prospects for job growth. Topping the list is Lafayette, Louisiana, followed by the Beaumont-Port Arthur, Texas area, and Houston. At the bottom of the list is Barnstable, Massachusetts, out on Cape Cod, where companies shedding jobs outnumber those hiring. It’s followed by Reno and San Diego. Los Angeles also makes the bottom 10.

Globally, the picture looks similar to the U.S., even though employers in 25 countries say they expect to be hiring. The Manpower report tempers that news, saying: “Notably, employers in 21 countries and territories are reporting the weakest hiring intentions since the survey began in their respective countries and territories. Where year-over-year data is available, outlooks in 25 countries and territories have declined compared to last year at this time.”

To get a copy of the report and a listing of the outlook in the U.S. by metropolitan area, click here.

John Zappe is the editor of and a contributing editor of John was a newspaper reporter and editor until his geek gene lead him to launch his first website in 1994. He developed and managed online newspaper employment sites and sold advertising services to recruiters and employers. Before joining ERE Media in 2006, John was a senior consultant and analyst with Advanced Interactive Media and previously was Vice President of Digital Media for the Los Angeles Newspaper Group.

Besides writing for ERE, John consults with staffing firms and employment agencies, providing content and managing their social media programs. He also works with organizations and businesses to assist with audience development and marketing. In his spare time  he can be found hiking in the California mountains or competing in canine agility and obedience competitions.

You can contact him here.


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