Colorado Springs’ strong job market is expected to get even better in the first quarter of 2019, according to a survey by staffing giant ManpowerGroup.
The net employment outlook — the difference between the percentage of employers hiring and those planning reductions — is forecast to edge up to 16 percent during the January-to-March quarter, with 20 percent of employers anticipating adding staff and 4 percent foreseeing cuts. That’s up from a 13 percent outlook during the current quarter, the lowest in nearly two years, and 15 percent in the first quarter of 2018.
The survey results come as the area’s unemployment rate fell in September and October to reach 3.9 percent. About 17,500 joined the area’s job market between October 2017 and October 2018, reports the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“Increased employer optimism tells us employers have jobs to fill, yet we know they are struggling to find the talent they need from production line workers to IT (information technology) professionals,” Becky Frankiewicz, president of ManpowerGroup North America, said in a news release. “With so many U.S. organizations set to hire in an already tight labor market, skilled workers can call the shots.”
The Colorado Springs job market ranked toward the back of the pack among the nation’s 100 largest metropolitan areas, tied for 65th with Denver and six other cities. Just six months ago, the area tied for fifth with three other cities. Deltona, Fla., northeast of Orlando, topped the list, which had two other Florida cities among the top five.
The Manpower survey found strong job prospects in all major sectors of the area’s labor market.
Other report details:
• The local, Denver area and statewide outlooks all were at 16 percent. The Denver outlook was weaker than the current quarter’s 18 percent and a year ago, when the outlook was 21 percent. The statewide outlook was stronger than the current quarter’s 15 percent but not as strong as 18 percent a year ago.
• Nationwide, the hiring outlook for the first quarter was the strongest in 12 years at 20 percent, when adjusted for seasonal changes, up from 19 percent in the fourth quarter and 18 percent in the third quarter. The outlook for the first quarter of 2018 also was 19 percent. Hiring intentions nationwide are the strongest in the transportation and utilities sector as well as the hospital and leisure sector.
Manpower surveyed more than 12,500 employers nationally; it doesn’t disclose how many participated from the Colorado Springs area.