Forty-two percent of businesses surveyed said they expect the current employment market to trend up in 2018, according to a survey from Express Employment Professionals.
Forty-nine percent of businesses said they expected the job market to stay the same and only 9 percent said they expected it to trend down.
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"The employment environment is trending up," said Reid Bates, owner of Express Employment Professionals offices in Washington. "Employers are starting their search early and often, given the heightened awareness of a tight labor market. The outlook for a strong business environment, due in part to tax relief, is fueling part of that growth on top of an already heating up economy."
The group surveyed 462 businesses in November and December 2017 to see what they forecasted for the first quarter of 2018.
Chris Ashcraft, an Express franchise owner, noted that many business owners are optimistic about what the future holds for their business.
"In the past year, Amazon and Walmart opened distribution centers, Airbus is building a new line to produce aircraft, shipbuilding is ongoing, and business at the port of Mobile has increased by 19 percent."
Another Express Franchise owner, John Calabrese, said that investments in infrastructure will aid in businesses expanding and hiring new employees.
"We are seeing big investments in infrastructure across our client base and the need for skilled workers to support their growth," Calabrese said. "The fourth quarter was stronger than in years past for employment growth here, and we expect that to continue into 2018."
Express Employment Professionals has also announced they are offering $2,000 bonuses to all non-executive level employees as a result of the tax reform proposal that was signed into law.
"The corporate tax cuts will allow us to invest more money in our people," said Bob Funk, CEO of the company. "Since our taxes are going down, it’s only right that our workers’ wages go up."
"I hope the wave of companies issuing additional pay increases as a result of tax reform legislation continues," Funk said. "The demand for workers is very high in this growing economy and that means workers will be more selective in their job search."