From January to March, 15 percent of Wisconsin companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 10 percent expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 72 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook for Wisconsin of +5 percent.
“Employers’ hiring expectations for Quarter 1 2013 are weaker compared to Quarter 4 2012 when the Net Employment Outlook was 11 percent,” said ManpowerGroup spokeswoman Mary Ann Lasky. “Compared to one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 8 percent, employers are slightly less optimistic about their staffing plans.”
Nationally, optimism among U.S. hiring decision makers continues to improve as a slightly increased hiring pace is expected for the first quarter, according to the survey.
When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the Net Employment Outlook for the nation in the first quarter is +12 percent, a 1 percentage point increase from the fourth quarter of 2012 and slightly elevated from +9 percent during the same period last year.
The national outlook is the strongest first quarter data collected since 2008.
Nationally, the Wholesale & Retail Trade industry sector anticipates an increase in hiring in the first quarter.
“The Outlook has shown no setbacks over the last 15 quarters, which reflects an ongoing state of rebuilding as employers learn to function within a state of volatility,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president. “Over the past few years, we have seen continued incremental growth in hiring projections, which reinforces this job growth is slow but sustained.”
Locally, among the employers in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metro market, 19 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 13 percent expect to reduce staff. Another 67 percent expect to maintain their current workforce levels and 1 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a Net Employment Outlook of +6 percent.
"Hiring activity is expected to decrease during the first quarter of 2013 compared to the fourth quarter of 2012 when the Net Employment Outlook was 12 percent," said Manpower spokeswoman Nicole Langley. "Employers expect stable employment prospects compared with one year ago when the Net Employment Outlook was 5 percent."
Globally, the majority of employers in the labor market are less confident about adding staff than they were at the start of 2012, suggesting a more difficult time ahead for job seekers.
ManpowerGroup's research shows softer forecasts in 29 of 42 countries and territories compared with this time last year, and compared to three months ago shows that hiring intentions fall in 21 countries.
"Worldwide, businesses are hesitating with investments due to uncertainty and this includes their investment in talent," said Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and chief executive officer Milwaukee-based ManpowerGroup.