Human Resources

Grand Rapids ranks No. 4 in US for winter jobs outlook

December 10, 2014
| By Pat Evans |
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Grand Rapids-Wyoming job market among strongest in nation
ManpowerGroup is a workforce services company. Photo via

Job seekers may be taking a closer look at the Grand Rapids market this winter.

The Grand Rapids-Wyoming metropolitan statistical area, or MSA, ranks fourth in the nation for the “strongest jobs prospects,” according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey for Q115, which was released yesterday.

Nationally, the survey found an overall “net employment outlook” of 16 percent for the first quarter of 2015, a level Manpower has not seen since 2008.

The outlook is determined by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting the percentage of employers expecting a decrease.

"As overall demand improves, we continue to see consistent, gradual strengthening in U.S. employers' hiring plans," said Jonas Prising, CEO, ManpowerGroup. "There's a little wind at our backs, as evidenced by the broadly positive hiring plans, and we see that as boding well for 2015."

U.S. job markets

The Grand Rapids market ranks among the top six U.S. markets for jobs, according to employers in the 100 largest MSAs.

Grand Rapids posted a 26 percent net employment outlook.

Five other markets make up the best areas for jobs in Q115: Cape Coral, Fla.; McAllen, Texas; Deltona, Fla.; Milwaukee; and Oxnard, Calif.

Detroit is also near the top with a 20 percent net employment outlook.

The Midwest is looking at a net employment outlook of 13 percent, with the construction and hospitality industries looking the strongest.

Employers in every state reported positive outlooks, with Michigan, Hawaii, North Dakota, Delaware and Texas reporting the strongest outlooks.

The relatively weakest outlooks were reported in New Jersey, Alaska, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The weakest MSAs are Spokane, Wash., Portland, Ore., Syracuse and Rochester, N.Y. and Indianapolis.

The full national outlook is online.

Global outlook

Globally, all but four countries reported negative job outlooks.

The nations with the strongest employment outlooks are Taiwan, India, New Zealand, Japan, Turkey and Panama.

"Employers are acutely aware that the economic situation could change on short notice due to unfolding geopolitical events or a slowdown in Europe and that is contributing to moderate global jobs growth and a continuation of the patterns we've seen in prior quarters," Prising said. "It remains a very slow and uneven labor market recovery globally, and employers are reacting to an uncertain environment with a degree of caution."

The survey

ManpowerGroup, an employee recruiting company based in Milwaukee, surveyed more than 65,000 employers in 42 countries to judge global labor market activity.

ManpowerGroup looked at 13 industries, with the strongest industries being leisure and hospitality, wholesale and retail trade, transportation and utilities and professional and business services.  

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