Report notes continued modest gains in employment


Consumers are the key driver of a healthy economy, and employed consumers are the only consumers worth having – those seeking work function as sea anchors. Manpower Inc. says that there is not a sea change in store for Q4 2010, but it expects a modest hiring trend established in Q3 to continue through year’s end.

We’ll get past the bad news first. Manpower’s latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that 71% of US employers are not looking to bring on new hires at this time.

But 15% are planning to increase staff, against 11% expecting to downsize, resulting in a +4% Net Employment Outlook, that further increases to +5% when seasonal adjustments are factored in. The +5% matches the Q3 2010 result and compares very favorably to the -1% posted in Q4 2009.

“After a period of very negative hiring sentiment in 2009, we have seen greater stability for the employed throughout 2010, although with only modest increases in hiring plans. This stability is an important platform to establish for more robust labor market growth in 2011,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. “Looking back at where we were in 2009, the employment environment is more promising now, however many employers are still unsure about how the economy will fare and how robust the recovery will be. Until we move beyond this uncertainty, we are unlikely to see employers hire in a meaningful way, and this is evident in their consistently modest hiring plans.”

There are 11 business sectors with a positive outlook, according to Manpower, including Mining (+13%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+13%), Professional & Business Services (+10%), Leisure & Hospitality (+9%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+7%), Information (+7), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+6%), Financial Activities (+4%), Education & Health Services (+4), Other Services (+3%) and Transportation & Utilities (+2%).
Only two sectors are negative, Government (-6%) and Construction (-8%).

RBR-TVBR observation: We keep hearing gloomy employment projections, but maybe Manpower is seeing something most others are missing. We can only hope – at the very least, we’re better off than at this time last year, and at least somebody is seeing a few rays of sunshine poking through the clouds.