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Despite political uncertainty, employers bullish on hiring

Despite political uncertainty, employers bullish on hiring

U.S. employers are optimistic about the second quarter, despite political uncertainty, according to the most recent ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

U.S. employers are optimistic about the second quarter, with the vast majority planning to increase hiring or maintain current headcounts, according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey 2017, released on March 14.

ManpowerGroup surveyed 58,000 employers in 43 countries and regions, across multiples industries and asked whether "they intend to hire, fire or maintain your headcounts in the quarter to come?" Of those employers, 11,000 were U.S. based; 22 percent say they plan to increase hiring between April and June 2017, 73 percent of U.S.-based employers say they expect no change in hiring plans while only 3 percent expect to reduce headcount in the second quarter 2017.

Strong quarter

This represents the strongest second-quarter outlook reported by ManpowerGroup since 2009, and the increases are expected across all industry segments and U.S. regions, according to the survey, meaning political uncertainty of the current administration hasn't yet shaken employer confidence in the economy. Industries reporting the strongest second quarter hiring intentions are Leisure & Hospitality (+28 percent), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+21 percent), Transportation & Utilities (+20 percent) and Professional & Business Services (+19 percent), the survey shows.

[ Related story: 6 soft skills employers should be looking for in tech talent ]

Manufacturing gets a boost

The manufacturing industry is poised to make strong gains in the quarter as the sector embraces technological advances and embraces automation and big data, says Michael Stull, senior vice president, Manpower North America, in a statement about the research.

"U.S. employers have a positive outlook for the coming quarter as the country waits to understand how the new administration's policies will come into effect. We are also seeing an emerging positive outlook from manufacturing employers who are reporting some of their strongest hiring plans since the end of the recession. The sector is showing signs of entering a renaissance period, transforming itself to be higher tech and data driven, stepping up to the increased global competitiveness," Stull says.

This is great news for tech pros, especially those focused in geographic areas outside of Silicon Valley who can leverage their skills to help drive transformation and digital disruption in these high-growth sectors like travel & hospitality and manufacturing, Stull says.

"We're seeing traditional manufacturing hubs go from rust-belt to brain-belt through targeted investments in tailored training programs … that help re-skill the workforce for the jobs of tomorrow. To keep up, the pace needs to be faster and will require more employers to go all in to build these skills. But we're encouraged to see the green shoots emerge in manufacturing and overall hiring," he says.

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