The 10 Worst Cities For Job Seekers This Spring

Honolulu, Hawaii, is the worst place for job seekers to conduct their search this spring, according to a new survey by employment services firm Manpower Group.

The survey asked more than 18,000 employers in the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan statistical areas about their hiring plans for the three-month period ending in June. It found that employers in all 50 states plan to increase their payrolls during the second quarter of 2014 — but they’re far less optimistic in places like Buffalo, N.Y., Spokane, Wash., and Little Rock, Ark., than they are in Charleston, Houston, and Salt Lake City, which are some of the best cities for job seekers this spring.

Of all surveyed employers, 19% expect to increase their payrolls next quarter, and 4% say they will decrease their staffing levels. This yields a net projected increase of 15%.

In Honolulu, only 14% of employers plan to add to their payrolls and 8% plan to decrease them, yielding a net employment outlook of just 6%.

“Honolulu is very dependent on tourism,” says Jorge Perez, senior vice president of Manpower, North America. “In the U.S., people are still in recovery mode and replenishing their nest eggs. They don’t have an overwhelming sense of confidence, the kind of security that makes you take that ‘bucket list’ trip. As a result, the pace of hiring among leisure and hospitality employers has slowed and likely had an impact on the overall labour market.”

Here are the 10 worst cities for job seekers this spring, ranked by the net percentage of employers in each city that plan to hire:

Honolulu, Hawaii

Net Increase: 6%

Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, Pa.-N.J.-Del.-Md.
Net Increase: 7%

Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, Fla.
Net Increase: 7%

Buffalo-Niagara Falls, N.Y.
Net Increase: 7%

Youngstown-Warren-Boardman, Ohio-Pa.
Net Increase: 8%

Winston-Salem, N.C.
Net Increase: 8%

Springfield, Mass.
Net Increase: 8%

Spokane, Wash.
Net Increase: 8%

New Haven-Milford, Conn.
Net Increase: 8%

Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Ark.
Net Increase: 8%

“My expectation for the next quarter is that we will see a continued steady, upward trajectory,” Perez says. “The chart for jobs growth will look like a treadmill on a slight incline — just enough growth to keep the economy relatively fit and healthy.”

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