Metro Milwaukee job prospects tied for 15th nationally in Manpower survey

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

The hiring outlook for the first quarter of 2018 in metro Milwaukee is the strongest it has been since mid-2016, according to the latest Manpower Group Employment Outlook Survey.

The survey found 24 percent of employers plan to increase staff levels in the quarter, just 1 percent are planning a staffing decrease and 72 percent plan to maintain their current levels. Those figures amount to a net employment outlook – which subtracts the percentage planning a decrease from those planning to hire – of 23 percent.

Milwaukee’s job prospects are tied for 15th among the 100 largest metro areas. Cape Coral, Florida; Ogden, Utah; Chattanooga, Tennessee; Los Angeles; Phoenix and Charolotte have the best job prospects

At the same time last year, just 18 percent of employers in metro Milwaukee were planning an increase and the net employment outlook was 14 percent.

The first quarter reading of 23 percent is the highest to start a year since 2015 and the best for any quarter since the third quarter of 2016.

The Manpower survey suggested job prospects would be best in construction, durable and nondurable goods manufacturing, transportation, wholesale and retail trade, financial activities, professional and business services and leisure and hospitality. Hiring in information and education and health services is expected to remain unchanged.

Recent data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics have shown metro Milwaukee trailing behind the rest of Wisconsin in job growth, especially in the manufacturing industry.

The region could start to buck that trend in the first quarter, according to the Manpower data. The state as a whole had a net employment outlook of 21 percent as did the Madison area, a driver of job growth in recent years. But metro Milwaukee was also 2 percentage points ahead of Madison and the state at this time last year.

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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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