Three in 10 metro Milwaukee employers want to add jobs this quarter, ManpowerGroup says

Employment outlook improves for Q2

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The hiring outlook for metro Milwaukee continues to improve as three in 10 employers now expect to increase their staffing levels in the coming quarter, according to the latest Employment Outlook Survey from Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup.

The survey found a net employment outlook for the region of 28 percent. The outlook measure subtracts the percentage of respondents expecting to cut jobs from the percentage looking to hire.

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At 30 percent, the number of employers looking to grow their staff was up from 24 percent heading into the first quarter of 2018 and 23 percent heading into the second quarter of 2017. The net employment outlook was 23 percent at the start of the year and 20 percent this time last year.

The metro area results were not quite as strong as the state as a whole, where 32 percent of employers expect to add staff and the net employment outlook was 30 percent. The statewide figures are also trending up. At the start of the first quarter 25 percent expected to increase staff and the net outlook was 21 percent. At this time last year, 24 percent of statewide employers expected to increase hiring and the net outlook was 22 percent.

Wisconsin and metro Milwaukee are in better shape than the rest of the country. The net employment outlook heading into the second quarter was a seasonally-adjusted 18 percent and 23 percent of employers expect to increase hiring.

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Becky Frankiewicz

“We’re seeing solid, demand-fueled growth across the U.S. as the economy continues to strengthen and the labor market tightens at pace,” said Becky Frankiewicz, ManpowerGroup North America president. “The competition for skilled talent is set to heat up and a just-in-time approach isn’t always getting employers the skills they need when they need them.”

The Milwaukee-area labor market has continued to tighten over the last year. The latest local data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows a 3.1 percent non-seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for Milwaukee County in December, 2.3 percent in Waukesha County, 2.2 percent in Washington County and 2.1 percent in Ozaukee County.

Those four counties had a total of 22,691 people considered unemployed in December, down from 31,505 in December 2016.

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