Global Labor Market Set to Slow in 1Q 2013; Rough Road Ahead for European Job Seekers

According to ManpowerGroup’s first-quarter 2013 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today, the majority of employers in the global labor market are less confident about adding staff than they were at the start of 2012. It appears that businesses worldwide are hesitating with investments due to uncertainty and this includes investments in talent. This suggests a more difficult time ahead for job seekers, particularly for those in Europe where more employers are reporting negative outlooks.

ManpowerGroup research shows softer forecasts in nearly three out of four countries and territories compared to this time last year. Compared to three months ago hiring intentions fall in half of the 42 countries and territories.

Worldwide, employers are most confident about adding employees the first three months of the year in Taiwan, India, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Panama, while those in Greece, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia and the Netherlands report the weakest hiring intentions. Weaker hiring sentiment is most evident across the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region where employers in 13 of 24 countries report negative Net Employment Outlooks for the first quarter, compared to those in eight countries just three months ago. Other findings include:

  • Despite the uncertainty that prevails in Europe, the German labor market continues to show resilience as employers there report a cautiously optimistic forecast similar to three months ago. Meanwhile, UK employers report their most optimistic forecast in over four years. On the other hand, uncertainty in the labor market continues to weaken employer hiring plans in China and India where opportunities for job seekers are expected to be weaker than in the first three months of 2012.
  • Employers from all 10 countries surveyed in the Americas report positive first-quarter hiring intentions. Hiring plans in Brazil are the most optimistic in the region despite being the weakest reported since the country joined the survey with notable declines reported in all industry sectors. Job prospects in Mexico are the strongest in nearly five years.
  • Positive first-quarter hiring expectations are reported across the Asia Pacific region with job prospects expected to remain largely unchanged from three months ago in the majority of countries and territories surveyed. Hiring managers in Australia report the weakest hiring expectations in the region, continuing a year and a half trend of steadily weaker Net Employment Outlooks.
  • Employer confidence throughout much of the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region is on the decline compared to year-ago levels, with weaker hiring plans forecast in three-quarters of the countries surveyed. A general shorter-term decline is also evident in the Eastern European countries surveyed where hiring intentions fall from three months ago in all, and with Polish employers reporting their first negative Outlook since their survey was launched.

For additional analysis please visit ManpowerGroup’s recently released Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Explorer tool, a new interactive way to examine and compare data from the countries and territories we survey. View the tool at:

The global leader in innovative workforce solutions, ManpowerGroup releases the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the longest running, most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, polling over 65,000 employers in 42 countries and territories. The research serves as a bellwether of labor market trends and activities and is regularly used to inform the Bank of England’s Inflation Reports, as well as a regular data source for the European Commission, informing its EU Employment Situation and Social Outlook report the Monthly Monitor. ManpowerGroup’s independent survey data is also sourced by financial analysts and economists around the world to help determine where labor markets are headed.

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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