Grand Rapids market ranks 2nd in US for hiring plans


ManpowerGroup is a workforce services company. Photo via

In terms of hiring plans, Grand Rapids employers are among the most optimistic in the country.

Grand Rapids is the No. 2 large metropolitan market in the country for hiring plans, according to ManpowerGroup’s “Employment Outlook Survey” for the third quarter of 2019.

Employers nationwide, across 13 industries, reported double-digit hiring intentions, suggesting continued strength in the labor market at a time when open jobs have outnumbered unemployed U.S. workers for 13 consecutive months, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Grand Rapids had a positive "net employment outlook" of 36%, coming behind Charlotte, North Carolina, which had an outlook of 37%.

Regionally, both the Western (22%) and Midwest (21%) U.S. have the strongest regional outlooks in the country and the highest reported outlooks in 11 and 18 years, according to ManpowerGroup. Hiring prospects in the South (20%) are close behind, with employers in the Northeast (19%) not far behind.

Industry-wise, the most optimistic outlooks are reported in professional and business services (28%) and leisure and hospitality (27%), reflecting an increase in automated processes and consumer spending that hit a six-month high in Q2, which fuels demand for workers with both digital and soft skills, according to the report.

Prospects are also good for jobseekers in transportation and utilities (25%) and wholesale and retail trade (24%), as customer demand for last-mile delivery continues to grow.

Top five metros

1. Charlotte, North Carolina: 37%

2. Grand Rapids: 36%

3. Madison, Wisconsin: 34%

4. Columbia, South Carolina: 33%

5. Milwaukee: 33%

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter. 

The net employment outlook is determined by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.

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