Des Moines-West Des Moines ranks #1 for Best Cities for Jobs this Summer
Posted: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
ManpowerGroup surveyed more than 18,000 employers in 100 metropolitan statistical areas to find out who’s hiring, who’s firing and who plans to maintain their current staff levels in the third quarter of 2013. Of the surveyed employers, 22% anticipate an increase in staffing levels in their third quarter hiring plans (a four-year high), while 6% expect a decrease in payrolls. The difference between those numbers gives you what ManpowerGroup calls a net employment outlook of 12% when seasonally adjusted, which is up from 11% for the same period last year and 11% last quarter. Seventy percent of employers expect no change in their staffing, and the final 2% of employers are uncertain.
“Given the slow and steady recovery of the economy and continued global volatility, a 12% net employment outlook is healthy,” says Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower, North America. “The good news is the survey has reported positive growth plans for the last 15 quarters, despite global market volatility. At the same time, the growth has inched up ever so slowly, and that is frustrating.”
The metropolitan area with the most optimistic forecast of all for hiring this summer is the Des Moines-West Des Moines, Iowa area.
“I am not surprised at all,” says Jay Byers, chief executive officer of the Greater Des Moines Partnership. “We’ve seen a remarkable resurgence in economic activity in Greater Des Moines in the last year. We’ve celebrated a number of recent business expansions and relocations, including a $250 million reinvestment by The Principal Financial Group in its downtown campus, a $100 million expansion by Wells Fargo Mortgage at its West Des Moines campus, and Facebook’s announcement of a $1.5 billion data center in nearby Altoona. These announcements have fueled what is a palpable optimism across our region.”
Some of the biggest employers in the Des Moines-West Des Moines area include Wells Fargo, Aviva, Principal Financial, Hy-Vee supermarkets, ING, Iowa Health Systems, Nationwide, John Deere, and Mercy Medical Center.
“We have two very vibrant industry clusters: financial services and insurance, and agribusiness and bioscience,” says Byers. “Both sectors are seeing strong growth. Those project announcements I mentioned, and a rebound in new home development in Greater Des Moines, have resulted in vigorous hiring among the construction trades and licensed professionals. Everyone also seems to have technology positions to fill. We’ve seen dozens of IT recruitment shops open here within the last year. Manufacturing is also doing well. We’ve seen a strong jump in wind energy with a recent announcement by MidAmerican Energy to add more than 650 additional wind turbines to its portfolio.”
The Des Moines-West Des Moines metro area enjoys a 26% net employment outlook, the percentage of employers that expect to add employees (28%) minus the percentage that expect to reduce their workforce (2%). Another 69% said they anticipate no change, and 1% didn’t know, according to the ManpowerGroup survey.
Byers says employers in the area are seeking very specific skill sets to fill the quality jobs available. “I might add that the Midwestern work ethic always attributed to our state isn’t just a worn out stereotype. Our people take pride in their work, and have ownership in the success of their business. They want to work with people who feel the same way. That personal investment in success is contagious and our employers look for it when they hire.”
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