America Employed

  • Q3 Jobs Outlook: Low Supply, High Demand

    OKLAHOMA CITY - July 24, 2019



    • 36% Increasing Wages; 64% Holding Wages Steady

    • No One Plans to Eliminate Positions

    • Stoller: "Cautious Optimism" Prevails


    Express Employment Professionals released new survey results today showing that 77% of businesses plan to continue hiring in the third quarter of 2019-with especially strong hiring in industrial positions. In the survey, which polled business leaders, 36% of respondents also expect wage growth at their businesses.

    Respondents were asked in which "segments" they planned to hire workers in the third quarter and could choose multiple segments. 

    • 36% said general labor (industrial).
    • 32% said skilled labor (industrial).
    • 20% said administrative or office clerical.
    • 9% said accounting and finance.
    • 6% said healthcare.
    • 5% said marketing.
    • 5% said engineering.
    • 3% said information technology.
    • 23% said none.
    • 20% said other.


    Respondents were also asked whether they planned to eliminate any positions in specific "segments," and could once again could choose multiple answers. 

    • 93% had no plans to eliminate positions.
    • 4% said general labor (industrial).
    • 2% said administrative or office clerical.
    • 1% said marketing.
    • 1% said engineering.
    • 2% said "other."


    Finally, respondents were asked about wages at their companies. 

    • 64% expect wages to stay the same.
    • 36% expect wages to increase.
    • No one expects wages to go down.


    7-24-2019 AE Graph1


    7-24-2019 AE Graph2


    7-24-2019 AE Graph3 Page



    While these are positive signs for the economy as a whole, Express franchise owners report some variation among different regions of the country.

    Dwight Hahn, an Express franchise owner in Windsor, Connecticut, says he expects the third quarter to be better than the second quarter of 2019, but not as strong as the third quarter of 2018.

    Daniel Morgan, an Express franchise owner in Birmingham, Alabama, says third quarters tend to be stronger in his area but he expects this year to be "slightly off" from last year as he sees "a little cooling off in the economy." Nevertheless, "wages are still going up," he said. "There are plenty of people for the jobs, but there's still a skills mismatch."

    But in neighboring Florida, Mike Brady, the west Jacksonville Express franchise owner, sees a different story.

    "I expect that we will be busier than in 2018," he said. "The job market is still hot, and there is still growth from businesses in our community."

    It is still "hard to find skilled labor," he noted. Automotive technicians, A/C technicians and others "are all seeing a tremendous wage increase, but there are more jobs than people."

    In Grand Rapids, Michigan, Express franchise owner Janis Petrini, expects things to hold steady.

    "The unemployment rate can't really drop any more in our market," she reported. "I think the biggest shift has been the mindset of the job seeker as they continue to hold all of the power."

    "Despite the predictions of recession we were hearing a year ago, the economy continues to plug along, with new jobs being created, businesses hiring and wages increasing," said Bill Stoller, CEO of Express. "While there may be some 'cooler' spots, our franchise owners-the experts on the ground-continue to see signs of economic strength. Cautious optimism remains the prevailing sentiment-and appropriately so."

    About the Survey

    In June of 2019, Express Employment Professionals surveyed 576 business owners, decision makers, and human resource professionals about the overall national hiring trends in the market today and how their business is impacted. Respondents were current and former Express clients.


    If you would like to arrange for an interview with Bill Stoller to discuss this topic, please contact Sheena Karami, Director of Corporate Communications and PR, at (405) 717-5966.

    About Bill Stoller

    William H. "Bill" Stoller is chairman and chief executive officer of Express Employment Professionals. Headquartered in Oklahoma City, the international staffing company has more than 800 franchises in the U.S., Canada and South Africa. Since its inception, Express has put more than 7.7 million people to work worldwide.

    About Express Employment Professionals

    Express Employment Professionals puts people to work. It generated $3.56 billion in sales and employed a record 566,000 people in 2018. Its long-term goal is to put a million people to work annually. For more information, visit