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Germany – Adecco CEO claims temporary workers could double by 2020

08 May 2012

Patrick De Maeseneire, the CEO of Adecco, said that the number of temporary employees could double by 2020. In an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt, the CEO said that “At the moment there are just over two per cent of the German workforce employed in the temporary staffing industry. This figure could double by 2020 if the economy grows according to a normal economic cycle.”

The most recent figures of February 2012 show that there were around 750,000 temporary workers employed in the industry which is significantly lower than experts expected.

In Germany trade unions and employer associations are currently in the middle of a bargaining round seeking to implement “equal pay” for temporary workers. Mr De Maeseneire was not worried about this and did not expect long-term stagnation for the staffing industry. He said that there are three reasons why companies want to employ temporary workers: to increase flexibility, employ skilled labour, and to remain competitive.

He believes that for the time being, staffing buyers are also using temporary employment to reduce costs but this is likely to change in the long run as a skills shortage is on the increase in Germany. Mr De Maeseneire anticipates that “In the future companies will mainly come to us so for procurement of skilled labour and less because of financial reasons.”

Mr De Maeseneire also said that Europe, the firm’s largest market by region, was presently experiencing a job crisis. “The economic development was good until the summer of 2011, but then we saw a slowdown of growth, particularly in Southern Europe. Germany is the growth generator in Europe.”

He said that despite the high unemployment rate, which reached 10.2% in March in the EU countries, there are around 2.2 million open vacancies that cannot be filled. Supply does not match demand, he said, particularly as there are not enough jobs for unskilled workers.

Adecco published their first-quarter results today, which saw European business activity decline in France as total revenue dropped by -1% organically to €5.03 billion.

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