2nd Quarter Hiring Outlook is Modest

March 9, 2010 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. employers have modest hiring plans for the second quarter of 2010, according to the results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.

A press release said that of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed across the nation, 16% anticipate an increase in staff levels during the second quarter, while 8% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of +8%. When seasonally adjusted, the Net Employment Outlook becomes +5%.

Seventy-three percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans, a record-tying high, Manpower noted, while the final 3% of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.

Employers in 12 of the 13 industry sectors surveyed have a positive Outlook for Q2, including Leisure & Hospitality (+17%), Professional & Business Services (+15%), Mining (+11%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+9%), Financial Activities (+9%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+8%), Information (+8%), Transportation & Utilities (+8%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+7%), Construction (+4%), Other Services (+4%) and Education & Health Services (+3%). The Outlook is negative only for employers in Government (-1%).

A positive Outlook is reported in all four of the U.S. regions surveyed. The Northeast has the strongest Outlook (+8%), followed by the South and West (+6%). The Outlook in the Midwest is +4%.

“U.S. hiring activity is still in neutral, but revving toward first gear,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas, in the press release. “It’s moving in the right direction, but it will take some time, with no major speed bumps, before it can accelerate.”