PhotoThe latest employment report from the Labor Department was cause for optimism if you're looking for a job. There was a big jump in job creation and the jobless rate dropped to 4.7%.

Here's more reason for optimism: a report by The Manpower Group projects U.S. employers will increase their hiring in the second quarter of the year.

The survey covered 11,000 U.S. employers, with 22% saying they plan to increase staff from April through June. Only 3% said they plan to reduce the workforce. That, The Manpower Group says, suggests a stable employment scene through the middle of 2017.

What's particularly encouraging for job seekers is data showing employers in all 13 industry sectors expecting to increase headcount during the period. The leisure and hospitality industry plans to expand by 28% – the most of any industry. Wholesale and Retail Trade expects to increase hiring by 21% and transportation and utilities by 20%.

Thinking positive

Michael Stull, senior vice-president, Manpower North America, says employers seem to have a positive outlook as they wait to see how Trump administration policies play out.

“We are also seeing an emerging positive outlook from manufacturing employers who are reporting some of their strongest hiring plans since the end of the recession," Stull said. "The sector is showing signs of entering a renaissance period, transforming itself to be higher tech and data driven, stepping up to the increased global competitiveness.”

But unlike in the past, Stull says this rebirth of American manufacturing is not taking place in the rust belt, but in the “brain-belt,” areas where there is a powerful mixture of education and technology.

But the rust belt shouldn't lose any ground. The report shows a stable hiring outlook in the Midwest and South, with much of the increase occurring in the West.

Broken down by states, job seekers in Montana, Colorado, Maine, Alaska, Hawaii, and Michigan may see the most opportunities over the next three months. Nashville, Provo, Utah, Colorado Springs, Fresno, Calif., and Raleigh, N.C., may offer plenty of new employment opportunities as well.


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