Wisconsin tied with Virginia for the third strongest hiring outlook heading into the second quarter, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
The state had a net employment outlook, which subtracts the percentage of employers planning to decrease staffing from those planning to grow employment, of 30%. Only Alaska and Maine, both at 34%, had better outlooks for the April to June period.
Metro Madison also had the second-best hiring outlook among metro areas at 35%, trailing only Virginia Beach at 37%.
Madison’s outlook was an improvement from 27% heading into the first quarter and 31% at this time last year. The improvement was primarily driven by a jump in the number of employers planning to hire.
Metro Milwaukee, meanwhile, landed in the top 20 metro areas for hiring outlook at 25%, an improvement from 16% heading into the first quarter and at this time last year.
While the number of employers planning to grow their staff improved, a drop in the number of employers planning to cut staff was a larger factor in Milwaukee’s improvement.
The Midwest continued to have its best outlook in 19 years at 21%. For the entire country, the hiring outlook was 19%. The strongest industries were leisure and hospitality at 28%, transportation and utilities at 24% and wholesale and retail trade at 22%.
In its press release announcing the survey results, Manpower noted consumer confidence was keeping the economy and labor market on a solid footing.
The survey was done in January, before concerns about COVID-19 began to spread around the world. Danielle Switalski, a ManpowerGroup spokeswoman, said it is too early to determine the overall impact of the coronavirus on hiring outlooks.