Manpower releases results of Employment Survey

Manpower Inc. conducted more than 14,000 interviews with employers across the United States to measure anticipated employment trends between April and June 2007. All participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of June 2007 as compared to the current quarter?”

Among the U.S. employers surveyed, 28 percent foresee an increase in hiring activity, and 7 percent expect a decline in staff levels during the second quarter of 2007. Fifty-nine percent anticipate no change in the hiring pace, while 6 percent are undecided about their hiring plans.

When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the labor market story for April to June is similar to the first quarter report. However, a look at the last three quarters shows the demand for head count is gradually decreasing, and employers are not as upbeat about their hiring plans compared with last year at this time.

Employers in Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Education and Public Administration sectors expressed similar hiring intentions for the first and second quarters of 2007. Confidence about hiring declined slightly since the first quarter in four industry sectors—Mining, Construction, Wholesale/Retail Trade and Services. Hiring managers in two sectors, Transportation/Public Utilities and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, foresee slightly more hiring in the spring than in beginning months of the year.

Employers in more than half of the industry sectors foresee a weakening of the hiring pace during the second quarter of 2007 versus the same period last year. Those sectors include Construction, Mining, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate and Services. Hiring in the Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation/Public Utilities and Education sectors is expected to be similar to last year at this time. Only Public Administration employers anticipate slightly improved conditions for job seekers in the coming quarter versus the second quarter of 2006.

Midwest +20 (15) percent

In the Midwest, 27 percent of employers anticipate an increase in the hiring pace, while 7 percent expect to decrease staff levels. The result is a Net Employment Outlook of +20 percent. The seasonally adjusted survey results indicate that Midwest employers are taking a more conservative approach to their hiring plans in the second quarter of 2007. Hiring activity is expected to be down slightly from the first quarter and one year ago. A regional comparison reveals that Midwest employers have the most subdued hiring projections for the spring months.

In seven out of 10 industry sectors surveyed in the Midwest, employers expect to rein in their hiring plans in the second quarter. A slightly slower hiring pace is anticipated for the Construction, Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Education, Services and Public Administration sectors. Mining employers made a stronger statement, reporting a moderate decrease in staffing plans. Employers in Transportation/Public Utilities report a slightly more positive approach to hiring, while Durable Goods Manufacturers and Financial/Insurance/Real Estate employers expect to maintain the same hiring pace they had during the first quarter.

Local outlook

For Rockford as a whole, results showed 57 percent of employers expect an increase, while 40 percent showed no change, and 3 percent showed a decrease. There was zero percent under “Don’t Know” and a net figure (increase/decrease) of 54 percent. According to this outlook, Rockford fared better than the state average, which showed a 28 percent increase, 62 percent no change, and 7 percent decrease. Under “Don’t Know,” the state had 3 percent, with a net figure of 21 percent.

Complete results of the national Manpower Employment Outlook Survey can be found in the Press Room of their Web site at There, you will also see the survey findings from 26 other countries and territories around the world.

from the April 4-10, 2007, issue

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