Nearly 1 in 4 U.S. Employers Anticipate Increasing Staff Levels in Q3 2016, While Overall Hiring Intentions Continue to Dip

Career Climbers / 14th June 2016

U.S. employers indicate stable hiring plans for the third quarter of 2016, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released today by ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN). Taking into account seasonal variations, the Net Employment Outlook is +15%, making anticipated hiring relatively stable, both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.

View complete Q3 2016 survey results for the U.S.:

Of the more than 11,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 23 percent anticipate increasing staff levels in Quarter 3 2016. This is a 1 percent increase from Quarter 2 2016, and a 1 percent decrease from Quarter 3 2015. Five percent of employers expect workforce reductions, and 71 percent expect no change in hiring plans. The final 1 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring intentions, resulting in a seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +15%.

“Although employers have been increasingly cautious for the last three quarters, the U.S. hiring outlook is among the strongest globally, and we expect to see modest improvements in the labor market throughout most of the country,” said Kip Wright, Senior Vice President of Manpower in North America. “This is good news for job seekers and organizations; as the competition for talent heats up, the way in which companies engage individuals is more critical than ever. Employers need to ensure they have the skills and resources they need – right when they need them.”


 Increase Staff Levels 

 Decrease Staff Levels 

 Maintain Staff Levels 

 Don’t Know 

 Net Employment Outlook 


Q3 2016







Q2 2016

(previous quarter)






Q3 2015

(one year ago)







U.S. Hiring Plans by Regions, Industry Sectors and Metro Areas/States

Quarter over quarter, U.S. employers in the Midwest, Northeast and South anticipate a slight decrease in hiring, while employers in the West expect hiring to remain relatively stable. Compared to one year ago at this time, the Outlook is relatively stable in the Northeast and the West, and declines slightly in the Midwest and South.

Employers have a positive Outlook in 12 of the 13 industry sectors included in the survey, with Leisure & Hospitality (+23%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+20%), Transportation & Utilities (+19%) and Professional & Business Services (+18%) employers reporting the strongest hiring intentions.

Among the 50 states, employers in Maine, Idaho, Montana, Delaware, Oregon and Kentucky report the strongest Net Employment Outlooks, while Louisiana, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Nevada and Wyoming project the weakest outlooks.

Among employers in the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in:

  • Albany, N.Y.
  • Richmond, Va.
  • Charleston, S.C.
  • Salt Lake City, Utah

The weakest outlooks are projected in:

  • New Orleans, La.
  • Baton Rouge, La.
  • Philadelphia, Pa.
  • Oklahoma City, Okla.
  • Bakersfield, Calif.

Complete results for the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are available for download The next survey will be released on 13 September 2016 to report hiring expectations for Q4 2016. To receive email notifications when the survey is available each quarter,

*The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.

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