Competition for Workers Set to Rise in 2019 as Employers Across the U.S Are Reporting the Strongest Hiring Intentions

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The competition for skilled talent is set to rise in the first quarter of 2019 as employers across the U.S. are reporting the strongest hiring intentions in 12 years, according to the latest ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey.* More than 12,500 U.S. employers report double-digit Outlooks across all four regions indicating continued employer optimism.

All 13 industry sectors forecast optimistic hiring plans with the strongest hiring Outlook in Transportation & Utilities as consumer expectations for on-demand delivery grows. Hiring intentions remain robust in Leisure & Hospitality (+27%) with more Americans spending on travel and tourism indicative of strong consumer confidence in a healthy economy. Professional & Business Services has the third strongest Outlook (+25%), driving the need for a breadth of workers from insurance to information technology.

“Increased employer optimism tells us employers have jobs to fill, yet we know they are struggling to find the talent they need from production line workers to IT professionals,” said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. “With so many U.S. organizations set to hire in an already tight labor market, skilled workers can call the shots. For some workers benefits including childcare facilities, free transportation, or the offer of certification and career progression are key. We’ve seen large organizations increase wages and add new perks and benefits like unlimited paid-time-off to compete for talent. Employers can increase their offer, yet ultimately there is a finite supply of skilled talent, unless we’re investing in development and giving employees the chance to upskill, move up and earn more. That’s why we’re working with companies from transportation to high-tech IT to implement accelerated upskilling programs to help people learn skills to do the jobs open today and those created tomorrow.”

The South has the highest regional Outlook (+21%) as manufacturing continues to grow with a +22% Outlook in Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, the highest since 2005. Hiring prospects in the Northeast (+20%) are the strongest in more than 12 years driven in part by an uptick in Wholesale & Retail Trade (+24%) and Durable Goods Manufacturing (21%). Employers in the West (+20%) and Midwest (+20%) report sustained hiring momentum in Q1 2019.

View complete Q1 2019 survey results for the U.S: ManpowerGroup.US/MEOS.


Q1 2019

Quarter Variation


















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

  • Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect to add staff in Q1 2019. The strongest Outlooks are reported in Transportation & Utilities (+28%), Leisure & Hospitality (+27%), Professional & Business Services (+25%), Mining (+24%) Wholesale & Retail Trade (+24%), Construction (+23%), Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (+20%) and Durable Goods Manufacturing (+19%).
  •  Employers in all four regions in the U.S. plan to add staff in Q1 2019. Employers in the South (+21%) and Northeast (+20%) report a three percent increase year-over year and in the West the Outlook is up a percentage point (+20%). The Outlook in the Midwest (+20%) is up 2 percentage points quarter-over-quarter.
  • Employers in Delaware (+30%), Idaho (+28%), Hawaii (+27%), New Hampshire (+27%) and Florida (+26%) report the strongest Outlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Daytona Beach, FL (+37%), Cape Coral, FL (+32%), Tampa, FL (+31%), Jacksonville, FL (+29%) and Raleigh, NC (+29%).

Complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey are available for download at ManpowerGroup.US/MEOS. The Q2 2019 survey will be released March 12, 2019.

*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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