Limited hiring expected in 2nd quarter: Manpower

The poll, which reflects hiring confidence among employers, calculated the net employment outlook after seasonal adjustments by subtracting the percentage of employers anticipating a decline in total employment from the percentage expecting to see an increase.

"Survey data reveals that 10 per cent of employers plan to hire for the upcoming quarter, April to June", said McAllister. Expectations in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector have increased by seven percentage points compared to the same period a year ago, while employers in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector report an increase of four percentage points.

When analysing hiring intentions across industries the finance, insurance and real estate sector and the services sector, are two of the strongest labour markets where employers report net employment outlooks of +24% and +23%, respectively. Employers report the strongest hiring prospects in Western Cape with an outlook of 11 percent, and in Gauteng where the outlook is 10 percent. Employers report the strongest hiring intentions in Leisure & Hospitality (+28%) as the economy picks up. Of the local companies surveyed, about 35 per cent said they planned to hire new workers between April and June.

Villamil, of The Washington Economics Group, said the professional and business services category added the most jobs, 56,700, to payrolls in 2017. The most significant quarter-on-quarter drop is reported in the Transport, Storage and Communications sector, where hiring intentions have weakened by 14 percentage points over the January-March 2018 interval, and the Outlook has slipped into negative territory, at -5%.

The advisory firm said large enterprises with a workforce of 250 employees or more have a higher hiring outlook than their medium and small-sized counterparts, with the net employment outlook at 29 percent.

The survey is conducted quarterly to gauge whether employers intend to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. The weakest hiring plans are reported in Mining, Government Information and Nondurable Goods Manufacturing.

With seasonal variations removed from the data, the survey predicts a 14 per cent increase in hiring; a 2 per cent increase compared to the previous quarter, and an increase of 7 per cent from this time past year. Hiring prospects year-over-year are slightly stronger in the Midwest (+4% year-over-year) and the Northeast (+2% year-over-year).

Vanessa Coleman

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