U.S. Hiring Outlooks Continue to Improve for Q2 As Employers Prepare for a New Future of Work

March 9, 2021 at 8:00 AM EST
- Hiring intentions are cautiously optimistic for Q2 with an Employment Outlook of +18%, up one percentage point from last quarter
- As more vaccines are approved and rolled out, just 4% of U.S. employers say employees must be vaccinated, while 48% of employers report it will be up to employees to decide

MILWAUKEE, March 9, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Hiring outlooks continue to improve for the second quarter according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (NYSE: MAN) of more than 7,500 U.S employers. Employers in all twelve U.S. industries report positive outlooks, with the strongest hiring activity forecast in Leisure & Hospitality sector (+27%), Transportation & Utilities (+23%) and Wholesale & Retail Trade (+22%). Employers are more optimistic about a return to pre-pandemic hiring than last quarter, with more than half (52%) expecting pre-pandemic hiring levels will return before the end of 2021.  


  • Return to pre-pandemic hiring - as vaccine rollouts progress, 32% expect to return to pre-pandemic hiring levels by July 2021, and a further 20% before the end of the year.
  • Strongest hiring outlooks reported in Rhode Island (+29%), Wisconsin (+29%), Michigan (+28%), Vermont (+28%), and Arizona (+26%); weakest in Louisiana (+9%), Connecticut (+5%) and Hawaii (-2%).
  • Vaccination policy - As more vaccines are approved and rolled out, 48% of employers have no plans to mandate vaccination, 17% will encourage by promoting the benefits, 4% plan to require employees to be vaccinated and 31% are undecided.
  • New ways of working – in next 6-12 months, organizations expect: 56% of employees to be back in the workplace most of the time, 19% will offer a hybrid work with more remote work, 10% will offer flexibility shift patterns 6% will shift to full remote work, 9% are undecided.

"The American workforce and labor market is resilient, and we have a silver lining in sight with the vaccine roll out boosting optimism for the months ahead," said Becky Frankiewicz, President of ManpowerGroup North America. "It's encouraging to see positive outlooks reported in leisure and hospitality and retail, particularly as this week we mark International Women's Day and roles in these industries are predominantly held by women. As we continue to navigate the road to recovery there will be twists and turns, yet slow progress will continue as employers prepare to renew and reset and focus on getting America safely back to work."

View the complete Q2 2021 U.S. survey results:  ManpowerGroupUSA.com/meos  


Q2 2021 





















U.S. Hiring Plans by Industry Sectors, Regions, Metro Areas and States 

  • Employers in all 12 U.S. industry sectors expect to add workers during the upcoming quarter: Leisure & Hospitality (+27%), Transportation & Utilities (+23%), Wholesale & Retail Trade (+22%), Nondurable Goods Manufacturing (+20%), Professional & Business Services (+19%), Durable Goods Manufacturing (+18%), Construction (+15%), Education & Health Services (+14%), Financial Activities (+12%), Government (+9%), Information (+9%), and Other Services (+9%).  

  • Employers in all four U.S. regions report positive hiring plans for the next three months.  The Midwest, West and South all report Outlooks of +18%, with the Northeast reporting an Outlook of +16%, unchanged for the previous quarter.  

  • Employers in Rhode Island (+29%), Wisconsin (+29%), Michigan (+28%), Vermont (+28%), and Arizona (+26%) report the strongest outlooks nationwide. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest outlooks are expected Madison, WI (+38%), Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL (+37%), Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN (+33%), Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ (+32%), and Provo-Orem, UT (+31%).

To view complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, visit: www.manpowergroup.com/meos. The next survey will be released June 8, 2021 and will report hiring expectations for Q3 2021. 

*The survey – conducted January 2021 – is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind, used globally as a key economic indicator. The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity. 

ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis and Talent Solutions – creates substantial value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity - as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality and Disability and in 2020 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the eleventh year - all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent. 


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SOURCE ManpowerGroup

Emma Almond, +1 (414) 544-1489, emma.almond@manpowergroup.com