US employers report strongest hiring outlook in decade: ManpowerGroup

US employers reported their strongest average annual hiring outlook in the last decade, according to the fourth-quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN).

The US ranked among the strongest outlooks for hiring among the 44 countries surveyed in the report. Other countries with solid hiring outlooks included Japan, Taiwan, Romania and Slovenia.

“We continue to see optimism from employers around the world in spite of tariff disputes, proposed new populist legislation and the uncertainty of a hard or soft Brexit,” ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising said.

In the US, ManpowerGroup’s survey found 22% of US employer respondents plan to increase staff in the fourth quarter — up from 21% in the year-ago quarter — while those planning to decrease fell to 5% from 6% in the year-ago quarter. This yields a seasonally adjusted net employment outlook of 19% for the fourth quarter compared 17% for the year-ago quarter.

The survey included more than 59,000 employers around the world, of which 11,500 were in the US.

US organizations plan to add staff across all 13 industry sectors in the fourth quarter. Employers report the strongest hiring intentions in leisure and hospitality, where 32% plan to increase hiring, with a seasonally adjusted outlook of 28%. The outlook for professional and business services is also strong at 25%.

All regions in the US reported positive fourth-quarter hiring plans. Hiring prospects in the South and West are the strongest in more than 10 years. Employers in the Midwest report relatively stable hiring intentions, up two percentage points year-over-year.

Employers in New Mexico, North Carolina, Kansas, South Carolina and Arizona report the strongest employment 0utlooks. Of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas, the strongest job prospects are expected in Charlotte, NC; Raleigh, NC; San Jose, Calif.; Albuquerque, NM; Greenville, SC; and Winston-Salem, NC.

“August marked the 95th month in a row for job growth in the US and we anticipate we will hit 99 months by the end of the year as the Q4 Outlook has more good news for American job seekers and businesses,” said Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America.

The labor market is returning to pre-recession levels where the most optimistic outlooks were reported in manufacturing, retail and professional services.

“It’s a similar scenario today with a big difference — manufacturing is more advanced, retail has gone online, and employers in professional roles need a new combination of digital and soft skills,” Frankiewicz said. “These are not the low-skilled jobs of the past, they are highly skilled technical roles of the future.”

Groupe Crit reports international staffing revenue up 4% on organic basis

Groupe Crit, the parent company of Indiana-based staffing firm Peoplelink, reported its international outlook remains favorable. Paris-based Groupe Crit reported staffing revenue rising 4.2% on an organic basis — adjusted for impact of currency and acquisitions — in the first half of this year to €1.01 billion (US$1.18 billion).

International staffing revenue rose 0.3% on an organic basis to €239.3 million (US$278.7 million). In the US, continued improvement in margins remains the priority and Spain should confirm its solid momentum both in terms of growth and profitability, according to the company.

In France, straffing revenue in the first half rose 5.5% on an organic basis to €774.6 million (US$902.2), despite a less-favorable second quarter.

Total revenue, which includes nonstaffing revenue, rose 4.9% on an organic basis.

(€ millions) H1 2018 H1 2017 % change Q2 2018 (US millions) % change adjusted for currencies and acquisitions
Revenue   € 1,216.6 € 1,174.7 3.6% $1,417.1 4.9%
Net profit € 40.2 € 31.8 26.4% $46.8  

Shares in Groupe Crit fell 2.48% at close of market in Paris to €66.80. The company had a market cap of €741.4 million.

Canadian employers report cautiously optimistic hiring plans for Q4: ManpowerGroup

Canadian employers report cautiously optimistic hiring plans for the final quarter of 2018, according to the fourth-quarter Employment Outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN). Hiring prospects remain relatively stable when compared with the previous quarter, up one percentage point, and increased by four percentage points from the Q4 2017 forecast.

The Canada survey found 16% of employers expect to increase staffing levels in the upcoming quarter — up from 12% in the fourth quarter of 2017 — and 6% anticipate cutbacks. This results in a net employment outlook of 14% on a seasonally adjusted basis, compared to 10% for the year-ago quarter.

Canadian organizations across all 10 industry sectors plan to add staff in the fourth quarter.

Employers in the public administration sector report the strongest hiring plans, with a net employment outlook of 19%. Outlooks for the manufacturing-durables sector and the transportation and public utilities sector are also strong, at 18% and 15%, respectively. On the flip side, wholesale and retail trade sector employers reported the weakest of the sector forecasts at 7%.

When compared with the fourth quarter of 2017, employers in eight of the 10 industry sectors report stronger hiring prospects; a considerable increase of 11 percentage points is reported for the education sector.

Regionally, employers in Quebec expect the most favorable hiring climate for the coming quarter, reporting a net employment outlook of 18%. Employers in Ontario and Western Canada anticipate an upbeat hiring pace with outlooks of 13% and 12%, respectively. Employers in Atlantic Canada reported a conservative hiring climate, with an outlook of 9%.

ManpowerGroup’s employment outlook survey data include responses from 1,925 Canadian employers.

Cross Country president and CEO to retire

Cross Country Healthcare Inc. (NASD: CCRN) announced William Grubbs intends to retire as president, CEO and board member when his contract expires at the end of March 2019; he will step down earlier if the board appoints a new CEO before then.

Meanwhile, Grubbs will remain in his current roles and assist the board in its search for his successor. Cross Country has retained executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles International Inc. (NASD: HSII) to lead the search and will consider both internal and external candidates. The process is expected to take about six months.

“After almost six years as president and chief executive officer of Cross Country Healthcare, I am confident that now is the right time to transition to new leadership to drive the company into its next phase of growth and improved profitability,” Grubbs said. 

Grubb is included on Staffing Industry Analysts’ 2018 Staffing 100 list of the most influential people in the staffing industry. He took over as president and CEO of Cross Country in July 2013, replacing Joseph Boshart, who had held the role since 1994. Previously, Grubbs served as executive VP and COO of TrueBlue Inc. and COO at SFN Group. He also sits of the board at Volt Information Sciences Inc. (NYSE MKT: VISI).

“Bill has led Cross Country through a period of tremendous growth and financial improvement, and Cross Country is much stronger today than when he joined us almost six years ago,” Chairman Thomas Dircks said. “We are grateful that Bill plans to assist the Cross Country board of directors with the leadership transition and we would like to take this opportunity to thank Bill for his many significant contributions to the Company during his tenure.”  

Cross Country also reaffirmed its third-quarter guidance ranges of $195 million to $205 million of revenue; gross profit margin of 25.5% to 26.0%; adjusted EBITDA of $8 million to $9 million; and adjusted EPS of 2 cents to 4 cents. 

Cross Country ranks third on SIA’s 2018 list of largest healthcare staffing firms in the US.

Former EmployBridge exec returns to firm as president of commercial brands

EmployBridge announced another new hire. Paul Seymour is returning to the Atlanta-based industrial staffing provider to serve as president of its commercial brands — ProLogistix, ResourceMFG, Select and ProDrivers.

Seymour previously held a variety of leadership positions in a 16-year tenure at EmployBridge, most recently as partner and regional president of EmployBridge Holdings. However, in April 2017, he joined Global Employment Solutions and its Fahrenheit IT division as CEO.

“We’re thrilled to have Paul rejoin the company as president of our Commercial Division,” CEO Tom Bickes said. “For 17 years, Paul was a highly tenured and successful regional president at EmployBridge. He brings a great breadth of outstanding leadership abilities to this role, along with a proven track record that will help drive the continued growth of our supply chain brands while delivering enhanced value to our clients and the workers we place on assignment.”

Seymour will report to COO Hugo Malan and serve on the company’s senior executive management team.

EmployBridge also recently hired Cathi Canfield in newly created role of VP of associate experience and advancement, tasked with improving the work and personal lives of its 400,000 external temporary workers.

EmployBridge ranks as the largest industrial staffing firm in the US based on 2017 revenue.

Job openings edge up to series high of 6.9 million

US job openings, hires and separations were little changed in July compared to the previous month, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. However, the number of job openings in July edged up to a new series high of 6.9 million according to the updated numbers.

The job openings rate — a measure of job openings compared with total employment — was 4.4% in July, unchanged from June but up from 4.1% in July 2017.

The BLS report also measures the “quits” portion of separations, where workers leave a job voluntarily. Quits were little changed in July at 3.6 million. The quits rate was 2.4%.

Bloomberg reported the biggest share of workers since 2001 quit their positions, adding to signs of labor-market strength that may push wages higher. Job postings exceeded the number of unemployed people by 659,000 in July.

Job Openings, Hires and Separations for July 2018 (000s)

  July      2017 June     2018 July       2018 m/m change m/m% change y/y     change y/y % change
Job openings 6,202 6,822 6,939 117 1.7% 737 11.9%
Hires 5,498 5,677 5,679 2 0.0% 181 3.3%
Total separations 5,406 5,514 5,534 20 0.4% 128 2.4%

Job Openings, Hires and Separations rates for July 2018

Job openings 4.1% 4.4% 4.4% 0 bps 30 bps
Hires 3.7% 3.8% 3.8% 0 bps 10 bps
Total separations 3.7% 3.7% 3.7% 0 bps 0 bps
Source: US Bureau of Labor Statistics; bps=basis points        

‘I lost my entire staff,’ small businesses weigh in on IC ruling — Staffing quote of the week

A recent California Supreme Court decision requires small businesses, including barbershops and tattoo salons, to classify someone as an employee on an official payroll if they offer the same service that is the primary business of the business, CBS Sacramento reported. “I lost my entire staff,” barber shop owner Anthony Gianotti said. All seven of his barbers quit after the court ruling changed their way of work. “It doesn’t just affect my business, it affects every independent contractor in the state of California,” Gianotti said.

UK IR35: How Your Enterprise Can Prepare

IR35 legislation, a UK tax law that affects independent contractors, coming into the private sector is generally considered a matter of when, not if. The legislation has incurred significant negative press and has caused much public confusion since its introduction into the public sector last year. Despite that, HMRC shows no sign of faltering on its implementation […]