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World – ManpowerGroup: Global employment uncertainty continues

11 June 2013

ManpowerGroup has today released the results of its global employment outlook survey for Q3 2013, providing little evidence that global hiring plans are improving by any notable degree into the second half of the year.

The survey, which polled more than 65,000 hiring managers across 42 countries, found that employers in 31 countries planned to boost employment in Q3, compared with 32 in the second quarter. Hiring optimism strengthened quarter-over-quarter in 17 countries but weakened in 21. This is in comparison with the same period last year, of 14 and 26 countries, respectively.  

Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, Jeffrey A. Joerres, said: “Employers around the world are growing accustomed to unpredictable economic conditions and are becoming increasingly agile in the face of an ever-changing environment. They are remaining disciplined and only pulling the trigger as demand dictates, resulting in a decidedly pedestrian global hiring pace.”

Throughout Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) hiring expectations are expected to be positive in 13 of the 24 countries, with employers in nine countries reporting negative hiring intentions. Uncertainty reigns in Europe, as the French economy slips into recession, with Sweden reporting their first negative forecast in four years, and Belgium at its weakest in over three years. Greece, however, is showing signs of improvement for the fourth consecutive quarter, despite reporting negative hiring intentions, and Britain is remaining cautiously optimistic with the strongest hiring report since Q3 2008.

“Europe shows a mixed picture by region and southern Europe is extremely challenged, although there are positive signals from Greece,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President. “Long-term and youth unemployment in the region is of particular concern and more emphasis must be put on helping young people find employment in this new economy.”

The emerging markets of Taiwan, Brazil, Panama, Peru, and Turkey have reported the strongest hiring expectations. Brazil’s hiring pace is expected to remain strong despite quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year slowdowns reported in most of the country’s industry sectors and regions. Panama’s hiring pace is also expected to remain strong despite the imminent completion of construction projects and an increasing skills gap. In Peru, demand is particularly strong in the finance sector, with nearly four out of ten employers reporting hiring intentions.

“Brazil still has a strong outlook despite slowdowns in most sectors and regions. Panama and Peru’s labour markets are also dynamic, with the former’s manufacturing sector buoyant even as work on Panama’s canal reconstruction project is winding down,” added Mr Prising.

Workforces are expected to grow across all eight countries in Asia-Pacific despite India reporting its weakest forecast in eight years, and China’s outlook the weakest since Q1 2010. “Some of the downturn in India is attributable to the decline of the country’s business process outsourcing industry, while companies remain frustrated with the disconnect between their skills requirement and available skills in the marketplace,” said Daryl Green, ManpowerGroup President.

Japanese employers reported their strongest forecast for five years, buoyed in part by the weak yen, with Taiwanese employers reporting positively in light of strong prospects in the services industry sector. Australia reports the region’s weakest hiring plans for the fifth consecutive quarter. 

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