Looking to start 2017 with a new job in a new location? You might want to think about making a move to Oregon, or even sunny Hawaii or Florida. According to a newly released study, those states have very positive employment outlooks going into the new year.
The study, from ManpowerGroup, a human resources consulting firm based in Wisconsin, shows which cities and states are home to employers looking to hire more people in the first quarter of 2017.
In conducting its employment outlook studies, ManpowerGroup surveys some 11,000 employers in the United States on whether they intend to hire more personnel in the coming quarter—or not. It then takes the percentage of employers looking to hire, subtracts the percentage intending not to and then factors in a seasonal adjustment factor. The result is an employment outlook percentage that shows hiring probability in various cities and states.
We took the list of cities with the highest – and lowest – employment outlooks and folded them into an easy-to-read slideshow, which you can view below.
Overall, in the first quarter of 2017, ManpowerGroup found that employers in the U.S. are looking at a 16% net increase in employment. This time last year, that figure was 17%, and in the end of 2016 was clocked at 18%. So, no dramatic shifts.
The top five states, in terms of positive employment outlook, were Oregon (25%), Hawaii (23%), Florida (21%), Iowa (20%) and California and Oklahoma tied for fifth place with 18%. On the low end – states where employers intend to tap the breaks on hiring – are Wyoming, North Dakota, Montana, West Virginia and Puerto Rico. Some of those, says Manpower North America senior vice president, Kip Wright, are probably related to mining and energy-related jobs. “Some of the pullbacks associated with what had been staffing increases and growth in prior years seems to have moderated.”
Getting more granular into the geographical data shows the cities and towns where the employment outlook is highest and lowest. The municipality with the highest figure is Deltona, Florida, with a 31% employment outlook. Number two is Cape Coral, with 29%, also in Florida.
Wright says it’s possible that Florida’s optimistic results could be due to certain industries there. “You find leisure and hospitality is growing at a 27% outlook and it leads all sectors,” he explained. “Florida may be benefiting from some increases in leisure and hospitality.”
Other industries showing positive hiring outlooks include wholesale and retail trade (20%), transportation and utilities (19%) and professional services (17%).
The cities with the lowest employment outlook results include Youngstown, Akron and Dayton, in Ohio, which are all looking at only 5% increases in hiring, as is New Orleans. Chicago is slightly worse, at 4%, and the city with the lowest employment outlook – at 0% — is Cleveland.
Some of the hiring slowdown being experienced by the cities in Ohio could be due to manufacturing woes, says Wright. “Generally speaking we’ve seen manufacturing as a sector kind of on the bottom end of jobs creation,” he explained, noting that there have been minor improvements to the sector despite slow hiring growth now.
Wright says employers are interested in hiring personnel with ever more specific competencies, which can be frustrating. “We are seeing a shift where talent and talent shortage continues to plague many of these employers,” he told FORBES.
Jobs are changing, said Wright, and 15 years from now, many in the workforce will be doing jobs that do not exist today. “Employers that are aggressive about looking at their workforce and finding different ways to recruit talent are finding different barriers to find that talent and perhaps even going back to a broader recruiting approach of looking at talent from a capability perspective versus a specific competency perspective. They’re likely to be more competitive over time because they’re likely to find better talent that they can develop to meet their changing job needs.”
Making a workforce ready for employers of the future – and to those of today, to some extent – means that training programs will likely become more numerous and popular.
As far as changes due to the recent presidential elections are concerned, the numbers don’t point to any dramatic shift. Wright says the employers ManpowerGroup deals with may have been watching the election and wondering how it all might play out. “But what we’re now seeing are signs, like a 16% net employment outlook, that certainly indicate that they are a bit more cautiously optimistic than maybe pre-election,” said Wright. “Having said that, look at pre-election—we were at 18% in the fourth quarter of 2016. They still felt like the economy was booming, moving through continued growth.”
By: Karsten Strauss