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Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Notably More Optimistic Employment Prospects in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Norway and Australia for Second Quarter

Survey of More Than 40,000 Employers in 21 Countries and Territories Includes China and Taiwan for the First Time This Quarter

Mar 15, 2005

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today revealed that employment prospects are set to improve most notably for the second quarter in Japan, Germany, Mexico, Norway and Australia. The quarterly survey, conducted by Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) to measure hiring intentions for April through June, showed that employers in 19 of 21 countries and territories surveyed expect positive hiring activity in the coming quarter, and 11 of 19 countries are reporting stronger hiring intentions compared to last quarter and last year at this time, based on seasonally adjusted data. This quarter marks the first time that the survey has been conducted with employers across China and Taiwan, and the results indicate strong hiring activity is ahead for the second quarter in both markets.

"In the majority of labor markets we survey across Asia Pacific and North America, employers are expecting strong hiring activity ahead, with Japan, Mexico and Australia reporting their most optimistic outlooks since we began the survey in these countries. Our data from U.S. employers continues to indicate a stable labor market," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc. "Employers in the majority of European countries surveyed are saying that they will add more staff compared to the previous quarter."

The Manpower Inc. survey of more than 40,000 employers shows a continuation of strong hiring across Asia Pacific. Employers are most optimistic in Japan and Taiwan and least optimistic in Singapore. While still positive, Hong Kong employers reported an outlook that reversed a six-quarter growth trend.

"Hiring in Japan is expected to be robust in the second quarter, beyond what is normally anticipated in this, their peak hiring quarter," said Joerres. "The data shows the greatest hiring expectations in the Manufacturing, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate and Wholesale & Retail Trade sectors. As we expected, employers in China and Taiwan enter the survey with strong hiring intentions across all industry sectors."

In the Americas, the Mexican labor market, fueled by strong results in the Construction and Manufacturing sectors, rebounded from a slow start to the year to post the region's most optimistic second quarter outlook. U.S. and Canadian employers are also anticipating strong second quarter hiring at levels similar to last quarter and last year at this time.

"The data in both the U.S. and Canada is showing the strongest demand coming from the Construction and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sectors, when seasonal variations are removed," said Joerres. "Employers in the U.S. are anticipating a continued, solid hiring pace comparable to what we have seen in the last four quarters."

In Europe, employers in nine of the 11 countries surveyed by Manpower are reporting positive hiring expectations, with employers in seven countries showing quarter-over-quarter improvements. This positive picture changes on a year-over-year basis, with employers in seven countries indicating weaker hiring expectations compared to last year at this time. Employers in Norway and Ireland are the most optimistic about adding staff, while those in Germany and the Netherlands are pessimistic. Norwegian employers are reporting the most optimism since the survey was established in this country. Conversely, Dutch employers are reporting their first-ever negative Net Employment Outlook, which means on balance more employers expect to reduce staff than to add them.

"A quarter-over-quarter comparison shows that more employers will be hiring in Europe in the second quarter. However, in the majority of European labor markets where we survey, hiring activity is expected to slow compared to one year ago," said Joerres. "We are encouraged by the results for Germany, where survey results have rebounded this quarter and employers are reporting the most optimism since the survey started there in 2003."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 14th of June 2005 to report hiring expectations for the third quarter of 2005.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available free of charge to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. To receive e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, interested individuals are invited to complete an online subscription form at .

Note to Editors

Full survey results for each of the 21 countries and territories included in this quarter's survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the Manpower Press Room at . In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the Manpower Online Visual Library, also located in the Press Room on .

About the Survey

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers' intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size, scope, longevity and area of focus. The Survey has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with more than 40,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 21 countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The program began in the United States and Canada in 1962, and the United Kingdom was added in 1966. Mexico and Ireland launched the survey in 2002, and 13 additional countries were added to the program in 2003. New Zealand joined the program in 2004 and China and Taiwan were added in 2005. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at and enter the Press Room.

About Manpower

Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry, offering customers a continuum of services to meet their needs throughout the employment and business cycle. The company specializes in permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment; training; career transition and organizational consulting services. Manpower's worldwide network of 4,300 offices in 67 countries and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 customers per year, including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world's largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower's work is on raising productivity through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction, enabling customers to concentrate on their core business activities. In addition to the Manpower brand, the company operates under the brand names of Right Management Consultants, Jefferson Wells, Elan and Brook Street. More information on Manpower Inc. is available at .

SOURCE: Manpower Inc.

CONTACT: Bruce Bock of Manpower Inc., +1-414-906-6193,

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