Businesses Expect Job Markets to Remain Strong

More Job Training Needed to Support Increased Hiring

A new survey from Express Employment Professionals shows that hiring is expected to increase in the second quarter of 2019, with hiring particularly strong in the industrial sector.

According to the survey, 80% of respondents said they planned to hire in the second quarter. Thirty-nine percent said they plan to hire general industrial labor and 33% said they plan to hire skilled industrial labor, while 18% plan to fill administrative or clerical jobs.

Taking a broader view, approximately 41% say the employment market is “trending up,” indicating hiring may still pick up further in some parts of the country. Almost half, 49%, say the employment market is “staying the same.” Just 11% say their market is “trending down.” In a previous Express survey, 53% said “staying the same,” 38% said “trending up,” and 9 percent said “trending down.”

Express experts across the country see similar trends. Express franchise owner Bernie Inbody in Omaha, Nebraska, says he’s seeing more hiring.

“As the year gets going, many companies are ramping up staff,” he said.

Express franchise owner Sarah Vitelli in Richmond Hill, Ontario, says she’s seeing a similar trend.

“Since the beginning of this year, our employment market has increased year over year, for both for full time and part time positions,” she said. “We predict this trend will continue to increase in the upcoming months.”

In upstate New York, the picture is a little different. While hiring continues, Express franchise owner John Calabrese says hiring isn’t as robust.

“We are seeing less hiring than we did three months ago,” he said. “Several factors are driving this in our region, such as full employment after several months of strong hiring and another minimum wage increase in New York. We also have multiple companies that are seeing a business slowdown. Severe weather has also played a factor in our region.”

And while Janis Petrini in Grand Rapids, Michigan, sees “a bit of a slowdown” with companies not hiring “as aggressively” and things “leveling off,” Jill Loveless in Tigard, Oregon, says she is seeing “more” hiring compared to three months ago.

Petrini says that, even though hiring isn’t as aggressive, she wouldn’t expect to see our unemployment rate go up anytime soon.

In Halifax, Nova Scotia, Express franchise owner Shane DeCoste expects hiring to increase, but stresses that it is contingent on one important thing.

“We expect to see hiring increase if – and that’s a big if – business can actually find the skill sets that they require,” he said. “Companies have vacant roles that stay open for significantly longer than in the past.”

Vitelli echoed DeCoste’s sentiment, “The top challenge faced by employers in every market is the shortage of qualified people,” she said.  “Employers are posting on multiple job boards, hosting job fairs, providing better incentives to apply and refer people, using brand awareness to help attract talent, but it’s still a daily struggle for every employer and it’s getting harder and harder.”

The demand for workers is high in all regions, and Calabrese reports that as a result he is seeing more on-site job fairs at employer locations, increased signing bonuses and innovative mentorship programs. Petrini says she’s seeing more “collaborations around transportation” to get workers to locations not served by bus lines.

“The pace of hiring varies significantly by region, but the fact that hiring continues and so few businesses say their markets are ‘trending down’ is more encouraging news for the economy,” said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. “It’s worth asking, how much stronger would our economy be if we could fill the millions of jobs that were still open?”

The survey of 491 businesses, which are current and former clients of Express Employment Professionals, was conducted in February 2019 to gauge respondents’ expectations for the second quarter of 2019.

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