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The American Society of Employers’ quarterly economic and employment survey results

August 23, 2018

The American Society of Employers (ASE), one of the nation’s oldest and largest employer associations, has released its 2018 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Second Quarter results. 
Highlights of ASE’s 2018 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Second Quarter:

  • Although most employers (55%) see no change in their future business outlook, a closer look at the data shows a negative trend in the economic outlook. Specifically, 15% of participants report worsening forecasts, up from just 10% in the previous quarter.

  • Much of the decrease in business outlook was seen in the manufacturing sector.  18% of employers in that group report that their business outlook is declining.  This compares to just 11% from the previous quarter.

  • 71% of employers expect hiring levels to remain the same over the next six months. The number of employers expecting hiring levels to stay the same saw a 7% increase from the previous quarter.  

  • Data from the survey shows that the Production / Maintenance job function experienced the most significant turnover this quarter followed by Engineering. 

  • The Engineering job family was rated (41%) as the top “in demand” job function, followed by Sales / Marketing (30%) and Production / Maintenance (29%).

  • Most participants (55%) indicated that the Trump administration’s trade tariffs have had no impact on their organization.  Just 16% reported a negative impact.  

  • However, when asked if the tariff will have some future impact, 51% of manufacturing organizations responded, “Don’t Know.”

The survey results were announced by ASE President and CEO, Mary E. Corrado.  “The business outlook data among the manufacturing sector is concerning given its importance to our region.  Hiring appears to be plateauing in the face of economic uncertainty,” she stated.
Background information on the ASE 2018 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Second Quarter 

  • 127 organizations from across Michigan participated.

  • Organizations with one to 500 Michigan employees made up more than 83% of the survey sample, while organizations with 501 to 1,000 Michigan employees represented 10% of the sample. The remaining 7% of the sample comes from organizations with more than 1,000 Michigan employees.

  • A variety of industries are represented, with manufacturing organizations representing just over 56% of the survey sample.

To obtain a copy of ASE’s 2018 Quarterly Economic & Employment Survey – Second Quarter, contact ASE’s Compensation and Benefits Surveys department at or 248.223.8051.  This survey is available free of charge to ASE members and is $525 for non-members.
Media Contact: Heather Nezich, Communications Manager, ASE, 248.223.8040, 

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