Metro Milwaukee hiring outlook for Q3 is third best in nation

Continues upward trend in ManpowerGroup survey

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:08 am

More than a third of metro Milwaukee employers plan to increase staff levels during the third quarter and the region’s net employment outlook is the third highest in the country, according to new data from ManpowerGroup.

The quarterly ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey found a net employment outlook – subtracting the percentage planning to cut staff from the percentage planning increases – of 33 percent in metro Milwaukee, which includes Waukesha, Ozaukee and Washington counties.

The reading is the best in any quarter for Milwaukee in the last decade. The previous high point was 29 percent in the third quarter of 2012. Among the 100 largest metro areas in the country, Milwaukee ranks just behind Indianapolis, 35 percent, and Raleigh, North Carolina, 34 percent, for the current quarter.

Milwaukee’s hiring outlook has been steadily improving since the reaching a recent low of 14 percent in the first quarter of 2017. It dipped slightly from 20 percent in the third quarter of 2017 to 18 percent in the fourth quarter last year, but has increased 15 percentage points since then.

Manpower found 35 percent of area employers that were surveyed plan to increase staff levels during the third quarter, compared to just 2 percent planning a decrease.

Milwaukee’s outlook was slightly better than Wisconsin as a whole, which has a net outlook of 32 percent for the third quarter. The Madison metro area outlook remained at 30 percent, the same reading as the second quarter.

The Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area saw a decrease from 27 percent to 24 percent and the Chicago-Naperville metro area outlook declined from 26 percent to 21 percent. Both metro areas include portions of Wisconsin.

Nationally, the employment outlook increased 1 point from the second quarter to 21 percent for the third quarter, but the seasonally adjusted measure remained unchanged at 18 percent.

Manpower noted the mining sector reported its strongest hiring pace in more than three years and the nondurable goods manufacturing and transportation and utilities sectors showed stronger hiring intentions.

The construction sector showed a slight improvement compared to the second quarter and had the best hiring intentions in more than 11 years, ManpowerGroup’s report said.

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Arthur covers banking and finance and the economy at BizTimes while also leading special projects as an associate editor. He also spent five years covering manufacturing at BizTimes. He previously was managing editor at The Waukesha Freeman. He is a graduate of Carroll University and did graduate coursework at Marquette. A native of southeastern Wisconsin, he is also a nationally certified gymnastics judge and enjoys golf on the weekends.

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