Economic and market enthusiasm has been on the rise, but hiring plans remain muted, as shown by a survey of more than 11,000 employers.
The net portion of companies expecting to increase their hiring in the first quarter of 2017 actually is slightly lower than it has been for anytime during 2016, according to results from ManpowerGroup's employment outlook survey released Tuesday.
Nineteen percent of firms said they plan on increasing employment, 6 percent expect to decrease it, and 73 percent see no change. The net of 13 percent is the lowest since the first quarter of 2015.
"Looking at the backdrop following a period of political uncertainty not just in the U.S. but around the world, from our standpoint it's a signal of stability," said Chris Layden, managing director of ManpowerGroup's Experis business. "It's not a robust hiring report."
The report's authors called the trend "a positive sign," though underlying numbers show that some of the issues bedeviling the U.S. jobs market are likely to continue.
The biggest area of hiring will be leisure and hospitality, a growth area for jobs during the recovery but one that doesn't help fix the stagnant wages that have been prevalent throughout. Some 30 percent of employers in the profession intend to increase hiring, while just 7 percent expect cutbacks, according to numbers not seasonally adjusted.