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Europe – Hiring outlook mixed for Q4

10 September 2013

The Q4 2013 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS) - a forward-looking survey of over 65,000 employers across 42 countries and territories, has revealed diverse hiring expectation across Europe, as the region recovers from economic headwinds.

Employers are positive about their hiring plans in 10 of 22 countries in Europe, but the region remains challenged with negative hiring forecasts reported in 10 countries.

This quarter offers weak signs for Southern Europe with Italy and Spain showing pessimistic outlooks across sectors and are, overall, projecting decreases this quarter in Italy (-13%) and Spain (-7%).

Key European highlights:

  • Employer hiring intentions are most optimistic across a few countries scattered across Europe: Turkey (+18%), UK (+6%), Poland (+4%), Bulgaria (+4%) Norway (+3%) and Germany and Sweden (+2%) report the strongest hiring plans. For the second quarter, employers in struggling Eurozone countries report the weakest Outlooks: Italy (-13%), Spain (-7%) and Ireland (-4%).
  • The greatest decreases quarter-over-quarter are reported by employers in Finland (-11%), Bulgaria (-10%), Slovenia (-7%), Turkey (-6%) Romania (-5%), Switzerland (-4%) and Italy and Hungary (-3%).
  • In the UK: Employers in the UK report a positive Outlook (+6%), a +1% increase quarter-over-quarter and a +3% increase year-over-year. London is leading the way with the most positive outlook since the economic downturn in 2008. Positive outlooks are reported in eight of the nine industry sectors with the most positive outlooks reported by employers in Finance (+16%) and Utilities (+13%). Negative hiring expectations are reported by employers in the Construction sector (-5%).

Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President overseeing Southern Europe and the Americas, said: “Southern Europe remains extremely challenged in general, particularly Italy and Spain, but Turkey is the exception to the rule — despite hiring intentions there weakening from both last quarter and last year at this time. We also note a gradual uptick in Greece; employers in the Greater Athens region, for example report their first positive outlook in 15 quarters.”  

Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup President overseeing Northern Europe, Middle East and Asia Pacific, said:  “The Eurozone’s emergence from recession and unemployment across 17 EU countries falling for the first time in two years are indicators, while not of robust growth coming out of Europe, at least of a bottoming out,” added Green. “German employers continue to report a shortage of skilled labour, and a number of organizations are targeting their search for talent beyond Germany’s borders and offering opportunities to older workers. To the west, demand for IT specialists remains strong in the Netherlands, with programming and development specialists sought after across many sectors.”    

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