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Global economic challenges and uncertainty will continue to contribute to subdued hiring during the second quarter of 2013, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today.
The survey, which polls over 66,000 employers in 42 countries, found positive hiring plans in more than three quarters of labour markets. Employers in 32 of the 42 countries expect to add to their workforces during the second quarter, compared to 29 countries in the first quarter.
Yet hiring sentiments are overall softer than a year ago with employers in 25 countries reporting weaker hiring forecasts for the three months ahead.
Hiring activities are expected to be high in Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey and India. The weakest outlooks were found in Europe, especially in Italy, Spain, Greece and the Netherlands. The survey reveals that companies in Europe remain in a wait-and-see mode as nine of 24 countries report negative outlooks.
“Employers continue to be troubled by the current global economic environment, where the only certainty is uncertainty, meaning companies remain cautious when it comes to adding to their workforces,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO.
“Although the tea leaves are not providing any clear direction at this stage, there are positive signs from Europe which suggest some stabilization. There is unexpected and welcome news from France given the current environment — manufacturing employers indicate they will hire between 80,000 and 100,000 people this year and this momentum is projected to continue through 2020. This corresponds with our survey, with manufacturing sector employers reporting their strongest hiring intentions since 2008.”
In Asia Pacific, employers also reported positive second-quarter hiring intentions with the strongest outlook found in Taiwan, and the weakest in Australia.
In a separate statement Mark Cahill, UK Managing Director for ManpowerGroup commented on job growth in the UK. He said, “with around 600,000 new jobs created in the last year alone, you'd think the UK employment phenomenon must surely be coming to the end of the road, but the good news looks set to continue till at least the summer.”
However, he went on to caution that the figures have been somewhat inflated by banks hiring workers to help them sort out recent mis-selling scandals rather than as a result of any positive economic stimulus. 20,000 new jobs have already been created by the big banks alone for the sole purpose of servicing payment protection insurance (‘PPI’) claims, and this figure does not even factor in the posts created by the various Claims Management Companies which aid customers seeking compensation.
"On face value you'd think we were in the midst of a boom but many of the jobs created here are the direct result of the mis-selling of PPI and Interest Rate Swaps. These scandals have spawned a new industry to deal with the fallout," adds Cahill.
“Chinese employers predict an upbeat hiring pace as employer confidence seems to be rebounding in all sectors and regions when compared to last quarter,” said Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup president.
“The country is encouraging and increasing both private and public investment to bolster the country's economic development. Meanwhile, the data from India shows last quarter's recovery from the sharp decline of the fourth quarter in 2012 is continuing. However, companies continue to struggle to close skills gaps, and the challenge is compounded by recent reports that more than 90% of recent engineering graduates are ill prepared to enter the workforce — either because of a lack of hard or soft skills.”
An infographic of the findings can be downloaded below.