Americans disagree on the state of the country and its politics, but they’re feeling increasingly good about the economy.
Consumer confidence is up, the stock market is up, wages are gradually rising and unemployment probably can’t go much lower.
On Tuesday, a new study highlighted another sign of economic strength: Employer confidence.
Twenty-two percent of employers plan to hire more workers in the second quarter of this year, according to a survey of 11,000 employers conducted by ManpowerGroup. While the majority –– 73 percent –– anticipate no major changes to their workforce in the coming months, the really good news is that only 3 percent say they expect to shed workers.
Of the 13 sectors that the survey covered, leisure and hospitality-oriented businesses are looking to add the most jobs in the coming months, followed by wholesale and retail companies, transportation and utilities businesses and professional and business services.
"U.S. employers have a positive outlook for the coming quarter as the country waits to understand how the new administration's policies will come into effect,” says Michael Stull, Senior Vice President, Manpower North America.
Overall, the U.S. economy added 235,000 jobs last month, a strong performance that analysts attribute in part to a big boost in construction employment. Construction projects have taken off earlier than usual due to warm weather.
Wages also increased in January by an estimated 0.2 percent, or 6 cents. That comes after a year in which wages went up 2.8 percent overall, nearly a percentage point higher than inflation.
But while President Trump has promised through-the-roof economic growth, arguing that his ambitious spending plans can be paid for as long as there is a booming economy producing plenty of tax revenue, the Federal Reserve has announced that it will raise interest rates in the coming day, an action that is expected to temper further growth.