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Economy in Brief

U.S. Hiring Improves Indicates Manpower Inc. Survey
by Tom Moeller   December 07, 2010

The latest Manpower Inc. Survey suggested that recent improvement in the U.S. labor market will pick up next quarter. For Q1 2011, the level of the seasonally adjusted diffusion index rose to 9 following a reading of 5 in Q4. The latest figure was the highest in two years. Since inception in 1976, there has been a 66% correlation between the level of the index and the q/q change in payroll employment. 

The Manpower Inc Employment Outlook Survey is a quarterly measurement of hiring intentions of more than 15,000 employers in 473 cities. Employers declare their intentions to increase, decrease, or maintain the size of their present workforce for the upcoming three-month period. The survey was designed with the assistance of the Survey Research Center of the University of Michigan. The current seasonal adjustments are by
Manpower, Inc. Haver calculated the historical seasonally adjusted series.

The overall not seasonally adjusted diffusion index remained steady with Q4 at a low level of 4. The detail of the survey indicates that Q1 hiring plans rema6ins broadly positive across industries but was strongest in the wholesale & retail and the professional & business services sectors.  The indexes for construction and durable manufacturing slipped Q/Q but elsewhere there was improvement.

The Manpower Inc Employment Outlook Survey is a quarterly measurement of hiring intentions of more than 15,000 employers in 473 cities. Employers declare their intentions to increase, decrease, or maintain the size of their present workforce for the upcoming three-month period.

The figures referenced above are available in Haver's USECON database.

Manpower Inc. Employment
Outlook Survey (%)
Q1'11 Q4'10 Q3'10 Q2'10 2010 2009 2008
All Industries (SA) 9 5 6 5 6 1 13
All Industries (NSA) 4 4 10 8 6 1 13
  Construction -9 -8 8 4 -2 -6 4
  Manufacturing - Durables 6 7 9 8 5 -6 13
  Manufacturing - Nondurables 6 6 12 9 7 -2 11
  Wholesale & Retail Trade 10 13 15 7 10 7 13
  Transportation & Utilities 2 2 9 8 3 -4 14
  Professional & Business Services 11 10 15 15 11 8 --
  Education & Health Services 6 4 -2 3 2 1 --
  Financial Activities  4 4 11 9 7 3 --
  Government 0 -6 -2 -1 -3 -3 10
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