Employers’ hiring expectations for the first quarter of 2014 are “significantly more optimistic” than the 8 percent outlook for the current quarter, said Ron Griffin, Manpower’s regional vice president for Dallas-Fort Worth and Houston. The best job prospects in Dallas-Fort Worth for the first quarter appear to be in the construction, manufacturing, transportation and health care industries, he said. Of the more than 18,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 17 percent told Manpower they plan to add employees. Seventy-three percent plan no changes, 7 percent expect to cut jobs and 3 percent are undecided.
The nation’s net employment outlook is 13 percent. Only one state — Montana — has a negative outlook. A separate survey by the National Association for Business Economics calls for the pace of the nation’s economic growth to accelerate in the current quarter through next year. NABE’s Outlook Survey represents the consensus of 51 forecasters. “While the federal government shutdown is likely to weigh on growth in the [current] quarter, the economy posted a surprisingly strong third-quarter performance,” said survey chairman Timothy Gill, deputy chief economist at the National Electrical Manufacturers Association. U.S. third-quarter real gross domestic product grew faster than expected to an upwardly revised 3.6 percent annualized rate.
The NABE panelists expect 2.1 percent economic growth this year and 2.8 percent in 2014. “The U.S. economy is likely to experience some headwinds in 2014,” Gill said. “Most panelists believe that the Federal Reserve will begin to rein in its policy of quantitative easing in the first half of 2014 and that additional sequestration cuts will negatively affect economic growth.” However, NABE’s forecasters expect U.S. employment and hourly wages to grow faster in 2014. Hourly wages are forecast to increase 2.4 percent, up from an estimated 1.8 percent this year.