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World — Fewer negative outlooks reported by European employers

08 June 2010

According to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results released today by staffing group Manpower Inc, employer optimism in the global labour market is gradually improving, with employers in 30 of 36 countries and territories indicating stronger hiring plans compared to 12 months ago and 23 reporting improved quarter-over-quarter hiring plans.

Despite uncertainty in the European market, fewer employers are reporting negative forecasts for the quarter ahead. Meanwhile, employers in China and Taiwan indicate their most robust hiring plans since the Manpower survey began in these markets in 2005, and the forecast from US employers is similar to three months ago but notably improved from last year at this time.

Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc, said "across the world, there is improved optimism towards hiring, which is typical for this phase of the recovery. The majority of countries are emerging from the downturn, but still have a way to go as companies are feeling demand for their products and services, but it has not accelerated enough to excite hiring prospects. The US is in the beginnings of a hiring recovery. However, there is still economic uncertainty, which is going to bridle stronger hiring."

The Manpower data shows that employers in 31 of 36 countries and territories expect positive hiring activity in the third quarter, while those in four report negative hiring expectations. This is an improvement in comparison to the 13 European countries reporting negative outlooks 12 months ago. Globally, the strongest job prospects are reported by employers in India, Brazil, Taiwan, China, Peru, Australia and Singapore.

Employer hiring plans remain mixed across the 18 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, but there are positive signals in the labour market. Third-quarter hiring activity is expected to be positive in 13 countries and, in comparison to last year at this time, when employers in 13 countries were reporting negative hiring expectations, only those in four report negative Net Employment Outlooks: Italy, Ireland, Spain and Greece. Meanwhile, year-over-year improvements are forecast for 14 countries. Hiring activity in the region is expected to be strongest in Poland, Germany and Sweden.

Joerres explained "Europe, despite all the recent bad news, is showing some improved demand for product, as evidenced by employers’ increased appetite to hire in the Manufacturing sector, with 16 of 18 countries showing more optimism in their hiring plans. German employers continue to indicate more positive hiring prospects than their European neighbours with almost all sectors improving and particular sector strength in wholesale/retail hiring. While our survey was conducted prior to the recent events in Greece, the results are still relatively reflective of the current challenging environment."

To read the full Manpower Employment Outlook Survey please click here



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