Global Employment Outlook 4Q-2012: Cautious Hiring Plans in Most Labor Markets

Job seekers should see varying degrees of positive hiring activity across 31 of 42 countries and territories, with employers in 22 labor markets reporting improved or relatively stable hiring intentions compared to the third quarter. However, the pace of hiring is expected to weaken in 26 markets compared to one year ago, according to ManpowerGroup’s fourth-quarter 2012 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today.

Other findings include:

  • Worldwide, employers are most confident about adding employees the next three months in Taiwan, India, Panama, Brazil, Turkey and Peru. Meanwhile, those in Greece, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland report the weakest and only negative hiring intentions.
  • In the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India, employers in nearly all industry sectors expect to slow the pace of hiring from this time last year—most notably in India. Meanwhile, in the world’s seven largest economies (G7), hiring forecasts remain positive yet conservative in all countries except Italy where the Outlook declines further into negative territory.
  • In the Americas, employers from all 10 countries surveyed report positive fourth-quarter hiring intentions. Job prospects are strongest in Panama and Brazil and weakest in Argentina. Employers in Mexico report their strongest hiring plans in over four years, driven by optimism among employers in Mexico City where the Outlook is the most optimistic since the survey began there in 2002.
  • Across the Asia Pacific region, fourth-quarter hiring expectations remain positive in all labor markets ManpowerGroup surveys; however, hiring plans are softer in the majority of markets compared to three months ago. A year-over-year comparison reveals declining Net Employment Outlooks in seven of eight countries and territories. The strongest hiring plans are reported by employers in Taiwan; the hiring pace is expected to remain robust, but job prospects are trending weaker as employers scale back their hiring plans in response to a softer export market.  Like their counterparts in India, employers in mainland China are reporting generally weaker hiring intentions despite an overall Outlook that remains positive in all industry sectors and regions. Elsewhere, the Australian Outlook edges downward for the sixth consecutive quarter and now stands at its weakest level since Quarter 4 2009.
  • The European debt crisis remains a persistent drag on the confidence of employers throughout much of the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. However, job seekers may find some pockets of opportunity; viewed from a year-over-year perspective, job prospects are marginally stronger in Switzerland, Romania and Slovenia. Hiring intentions also grow slightly in the United Kingdom despite threats that the country’s double-dip recession will intensify.  Elsewhere, the story is less promising. The nine negative Outlooks reported this quarter are all from the EMEA region, with employers in Poland and Slovakia reporting negative hiring plans for the first time since starting the survey.

To view full results for each of the 42 countries and territories included in the research, plus regional and global comparisons, visit the ManpowerGroup Web site at:

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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