U.S. employers’ hiring intentions hit a 13-year high in ManpowerGroup’s third quarter 2019 Employment Outlook Survey, pointing to a receptive environment for job seekers. ManpowerGroup’s survey showed hiring intentions as up 21 percent, and the last time the survey of more than 11,500 employers reported an increase at the same rate was in third quarter 2006.

Employers in all 13 industries surveyed report double-digit hiring intentions, which points to continued strength in the labor market at a time when open jobs have outnumbered unemployed U.S. workers for 13 consecutive months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The most optimistic outlooks are reported in the Professional & Business Services (+28 percent) and Leisure & Hospitality (+27 percent) industries, reflecting an increase in automated processes and consumer spending that hit a six-month high in the second quarter and fueled demand for workers with both digital and soft skills. Prospects also look robust for jobseekers in Transportation & Utilities (+25 percent) and in Wholesale & Retail Trade (+24 percent), as customer demand for last mile delivery continues to grow.

"At a time of record low unemployment and employer optimism at levels we haven't seen since the mid-2000s, we need to do more to connect people to jobs if we're going to sustain economic growth," says Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America. "With such strong competition for talent, skilled workers are choosing when, where and how they work. We find jobs for 275,000 workers every year and know flexibility, access to childcare and clear career paths are especially attractive benefits to women and men. To find and retain top talent, the best companies are offering holistic benefits packages with accelerated training programs and opportunities to learn, earn more and move up so employees have the skills for jobs today and tomorrow."

Nationwide, employers in all 13 industry sectors expect to add staff in the third quarter 2019. The strongest outlooks are reported in Professional & Business Services (+28 percent), Leisure & Hospitality (+27 percent), Transportation & Utilities (+25 percent), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+24 percent) and Construction (+21 percent) followed by Government (+20 percent), Mining (+19 percent), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+18 percent), Financial Activities (+17 percent) and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing (+16 percent).

Both the West (+22 percent) and the Midwest (+21 percent) have the strongest regional outlooks in the country and the highest reported outlooks in 11 and 18 years, respectively. Hiring prospects in the South (+20 percent) are close behind with employers in the Northeast (+19 percent) not far behind.

Employers in Maine (+34 percent), Wisconsin (+34 percent), Alaska (+33 percent), North Dakota (+32 percent) and West Virginia (+32 percent) report the strongest outlooks nationwide. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job gains are expected in Charlotte, North Carolina, (+37 percent); Grand Rapids, Michigan (+36 percent); Madison, Wisconsin (+34 percent); Columbia, South Carolina (+33 percent); Milwaukee, Wisconsin (+33 percent); and San Jose, California (+33 percent).