Milwaukee employers project moderate hiring

Employers in the Milwaukee metropolitan market expect to hire at a “moderate” pace during the first quarter of 2014, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

From January to March, 17 percent of the companies interviewed in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis market plan to hire more employees, while 10 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 70 percent expect to maintain their current workforce levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of +7 percent.

“Looking to the new year, employers’ hiring expectations for Quarter 1 2014 are less optimistic compared to Quarter 4 2013 when the Net Employment Outlook was 14 percent,” said Manpower spokeswoman Nicole Langley. “Compared to one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 6 percent, employers expect stable staffing plans.”

For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in Construction, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation & Utilities, Wholesale & Retail Trade, Information, Professional & Business Services, Leisure & Hospitality and Other Services. Employers in Durable Goods Manufacturing, Education & Health Services and Government plan to reduce staffing levels, while hiring in Financial Activities is expected to remain unchanged.

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed in the United States, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 7 percent expect a decline in their payrolls during the first quarter. Seventy-three percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 3 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring plans. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook is +13 percent, equal to the outlook from the fourth quarter of 2013.

“Employers remain optimistic and continue to gradually improve their hiring projections despite the uneven economic recovery and other global and domestic influences,” said Jonas Prising, president, ManpowerGroup. “We’re starting to see talent strategy match the importance of business strategy as individuals with the right skills and experience become harder to find. Today, almost every major business decision focuses on knowing how to access, mobilize and optimize workforces to remain competitive.”

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