Employment Outlook: Uncertainty Seems to be Fading Globally

According to ManpowerGroup’s third quarter Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today, year-over-year hiring outlooks improve modestly across major countries with German employers reporting their most optimistic hiring expectations since the downturn.

Although overall hiring plans for countries such as Italy and the U.K. remain subdued, results for Canada and France are above the historical average and those in Japan and the U.S., while below pre-recession levels, are cautiously optimistic. U.S. employers across all 13 industry sectors surveyed expect hiring activity to be relatively stable or improve from three months ago. Meanwhile, employers in the emerging market countries of India and Brazil continue to report the strongest hiring plans globally, fueled in part by strong demand in the countries’ Finance / Insurance / Real Estate sectors.

“The year-over-year improvements across all major geographies are good news; additionally, the emerging markets continue their optimism. This is not to say that companies are not remaining somewhat cautious – they are – but they are steadily coming off the ‘no change’ fence,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. “Each market is not without its own set of supply and demand challenges. For example, many of our clients in developed markets are beginning to feel the talent crunch as aging workers retire; clients in emerging markets may have a surplus of candidates who often don’t possess the level of education, skills and experience required for the job. The growing skills shortage will affect virtually every industry and every economy in the Human Age; and businesses, educators and governments must collaborate to find innovative ways to align learning and skills development with business needs to ensure future economic growth.”

According to the Manpower report, third quarter hiring expectations are positive in 35 of 39 countries and territories, with Net Employment Outlooks improving quarter-over-quarter in 20 countries and territories and in 24 compared to 12 months ago. Hiring intentions for the next three months are strongest in India, Brazil, Taiwan, Turkey and Singapore, while those in Spain, Greece, Italy and Ireland are the weakest and only negative forecasts reported.

Globally, job prospects continue to be strongest in the Asia Pacific region. However, some of the hiring from the previous quarter was evidently absorbed with Net Employment Outlooks decreasing slightly from three months ago in five of eight countries—Australia, India, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan. Year-over-year Outlooks rose in just five of eight countries and territories. Hiring expectations within Asia Pacific continue to be strongest in India and Taiwan and weakest in Japan.

“Our data indicates a slight slowdown ahead in Service sector hiring in the majority of Asia

Pacific countries and territories we survey, but demand will remain strong for individuals with the right skills,” said Joerres. “In India, job prospects in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector are at their strongest since we began the survey, as companies seek staff to serve this untapped consumer market. Meanwhile, in Japan many employers have postponed their second quarter peak seasonal hiring activity as a result of the March tsunami. This tragic event is also contributing to the strongest Construction sector hiring plans in three years as rebuilding efforts are underway.”

Hiring expectations remain mixed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, with positive hiring activity expected in 17 of 21 countries surveyed. Outlooks improve from both three months ago and last year at this time in 13 countries. As was the case last quarter, regional hiring plans are strongest in the Eastern European countries of Turkey, Romania, Bulgaria and Poland, and weakest in Spain, Greece and Italy. Notably, the Manufacturing sector appears to be gaining some traction across Europe with hiring intentions improving in 16 of 20 countries compared to last year.

“The strongest hiring plans to date in the Finance and Business Services sector are contributing to the continued strength of the German labor market, while the healthy job prospects in Turkey and Romania are being boosted by solid Construction sector activity,” said Joerres. “Talent mobility will continue to be a vital tool in combating the talent shortage in Europe, and Germany is recognizing this. The German government has passed legislation effective this month allowing citizens from eight select Eastern European countries to work there without a permit.”

Third quarter forecasts remain positive to varying degrees in all 10 countries Manpower surveys in the Americas. Compared to last year, job prospects are relatively stable or improved in eight of 10 countries and in seven compared to three months ago. Hiring activity in the region is expected to be the most robust in Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica, and least dynamic in the U.S.

“U.S. and Mexican employers are telling us they will hire at the same steady pace reported for the previous two quarters; however, the unadjusted U.S. data points to a couple bright spots—the most upbeat hiring plans from Wholesale and Retail Trade and Manufacturing sector employers since the downturn. To the north, hiring intentions among Canadian employers remain upbeat for the fifth consecutive quarter,” said Joerres. “In Brazil, job prospects remain brisk but employers there continue to struggle finding skilled talent, particularly engineers and technicians to support infrastructure and manufacturing initiatives. Similarly, demand is strong in the Brazilian Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector with six in 10 employers expecting to add to their payrolls in the next three months.”

Download the full report (PDF) here

Source: press release

About Jacco Valkenburg

Jacco Valkenburg is an international recruitment expert, trainer and author (5 books). He has more than 20 years experience in global recruitment strategies and execution spanning numerous countries for leading companies. As founder of Recruiter University and Recruit2 he provides companies with recruitment training and consultancy. His mission is helping companies ‘from good to great staffing’.

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