Sixteen percent of Missouri employers participating in a Manpower Employment Outlook survey released Tuesday said they plan to increase staff levels in the 4th quarter, while 9 percent plan to decrease staff levels. The survey’s net employment outlook for the U.S. was +11 percent. This is the strongest 4th quarter outlook the U.S. has seen in five years.
Manpower interviewed more than 18,000 employers across the country. Surveyors asked participants: “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2012 as compared to the current quarter?” The survey is Manpower Group’s quarterly index of employer hiring confidence.
The state’s net hiring outlook in Q4 2011 was slightly higher than the outlook in the same quarter this year. St. Louis metropolitan area employers expect weaker net hiring numbers compared with 2011, when a 13 percent overall net employment outlook increase was expected. This year, 14 percent of St. Louis employers surveyed plan on increasing staff levels while 12 percent plan to decrease staff numbers.
Seventeen percent of Kansas City employers surveyed plan to increase staff levels, compared with 15 percent in Q4 2011, a 2 percentage point overall increase from the previous year.
The hiring outlook in Missouri aligns with the rest of the Midwest region, where an overall net employment outlook increase of 9 percent is expected. Across the U.S., 17 percent of employers expect to add to their workforces and 9 percent expect to decrease.
Though the survey coducted by Manpower yields percentages of employers who expect to hire and lay-off employees, it does not ask employers how many employees they expect to add or cut during the 4th quarter. It is possible that the 16 percent of employers who plan to add jobs could collectively add only 2,500 jobs while the 9 percent of employers who expect to reduce employee numbers could reduce their payrolls by a total of 9,500 workers, making a net loss of 7,000 Missouri jobs. It is important to take this into consideration when viewing survey results.