In yet another sign that a 2019 recession is unlikely, the vast majority of businesses in a recent Express Employment Professionals survey reported that they have no plans to cut their workforces.
In the survey from Express, respondents were asked whether they planned to eliminate any positions during the second quarter of 2019. Ninety-four percent said they had no such plans.
Express franchise owners report that the survey is consistent with what they are seeing in communities across the country.
“Unemployment is so low, and there is a war for talent,” says Janis Petrini, an Express franchise owner in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “There is no prediction of any recession in 2019,” she reported, noting that any slowdown will actually be due to a work shortage. “The growth will slow not due to sales but due to a lack of available talent.”
“The local economy and surrounding market remain very positive with little evidence that a recession is looming in 2019,” said Michael Elliott, an Express franchise owner in London, Ontario. “We expect the pace of hiring to continue at the same rate as late 2018 as the local economy continues to see new investment from existing and new companies entering the region.”
Chris Ashcraft, an Express franchise owner, from Mobile, Alabama, says that hiring “has been picking up” since last year, while Terri Greeno, an Express franchise owner in Crystal Lake, Illinois, confirms that “there are still more open jobs than qualified applicants.” Greeno does note, though, that some companies “appear to be a little more apprehensive than at this time a year ago.”
Martin Labossiere, an Express franchise owner in Winnipeg, Manitoba, also reports that hiring is not expected to decrease; in fact, the exact opposite is anticipated.
“Overall, we are seeing more companies that will be increasing their workforce this year, driven in part by special projects or seasonal increases,” he said.
With that apprehension in mind, Reid Bates, an Express franchise owner in Olympia, Centralia and Aberdeen, Washington, warns that the most likely cause of a slowdown may simply be fear of a slowdown.
“People are hearing of a slowdown looming, and that may lead to some self-fulfillment as they don’t want to be too slow to react when the slowdown occurs,” he said.
“After such a long stretch of job growth, it’s natural that fears of an inevitable recession would emerge,” said Bill Stoller, the CEO of Express. “But reports indicate we have a strong job market, a strong business environment and a positive outlook for the year.”