Human Resources

Grand Rapids ranks No. 5 in US for winter jobs outlook

December 8, 2015
| By Pat Evans |
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Grand Rapids-Wyoming job market among strongest in nation
ManpowerGroup is a workforce services company. Photo via

The Grand Rapids market will likely see a stable of job opportunities in the first quarter of 2016.

The latest “Manpower Employment Outlook Survey,” released today by ManpowerGroup, a workforce services company based in Milwaukee, ranks the Grand Rapids-Wyoming market No. 5 in the U.S. for its winter jobs outlook.

Michigan, along with Hawaii, Florida and Kansas, show the strongest employment outlooks.

Grand Rapids saw 30 percent of respondents to Manpower’s survey indicate they’re looking to increase staffing from January to March, with 62 percent expecting to maintain current levels. The reports says the market’s “net employment outlook” is 25 percent.

“Local employers anticipate a stronger hiring pace compared to Q4 2015, when the net employment outlook was 21 percent,” ManpowerGroup spokesperson Jill Momber said. “Last year at this time, employers expected similar hiring activity when the outlook was 26 percent.”

Strongest U.S. jobs outlook

1. Cape Coral, Fla.
2. Washington, D.C.
3. Honolulu
4. Dallas
5. Grand Rapids
6. Provo-Orem, Utah

Weakest U.S. jobs outlook

1. Hartford, Conn.
2. Chicago
3. Kansas City, Mo.
4. Worcester, Mass.
5. Tulsa, Okla.

National jobs outlook

The net employment outlook for the U.S. is 17 percent, the highest outlook for a first quarter since 2007’s 18 percent.

In the U.S., ManpowerGroup interviewed 11,000 employers, with 20 percent expecting staff increases in the first quarter. Despite a 1-percent drop from the current quarter, it is an increase from last January, when estimated increases were 19 percent.

"We've seen strong jobs growth in the U.S. throughout 2015, along with declining unemployment and increasing wages, which brings a continued optimism for the start of 2016," ManpowerGroup CEO Jonas Prising said. "We expect these broad trends to continue going into 2016, despite ongoing challenges in certain sectors like energy and manufacturing, as well as in export-driven industries.

“As the unemployment rate comes down and the labor market continues to tighten, employers will increasingly feel the impact of rising wages and the ongoing skills mismatch."

ManpowerGroup says the strongest increases in staffing are in several industries: leisure and hospitality; transportation and utilities; wholesale and retail trade; and professional and business services.

Global jobs outlook

ManpowerGroup interviewed 59,000 employers in 42 countries and territories across the globe, with 39 countries and territories expecting an overall increase in staffing.

The U.S. is among the strongest in terms of employment outlook, along with Taiwan, Japan and Turkey.

The only negative forecasts are for Brazil, Finland and France.

The report contends that China’s slowing economy has an effect outside of the Asia-Pacific job markets.

"Economic growth expectations have come down in some global markets, but in many cases are consistent with hiring outlooks last year," Prising said. "The strength of the global recovery will continue to be uneven, particularly for some countries in Asia, Latin America and Europe. In Europe, employers in the U.K. and Germany anticipate increased hiring, and employers in Italy report their first positive hiring expectations since quarter one 2011, all of which points to opportunities for growth going into 2016.

“Companies we speak with intend to make their organizations more agile and able to deliver value in shorter timeframes, as they adjust to cycles or disruptive changes within their industries." 

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