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Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Shows Soft Hiring Outlook for Europe, Particularly in Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Sweden

U.S. Job Prospects Remain Steady With Construction Sector Employers Reporting Most Optimistic Outlook in 27 Years

Dec 13, 2005

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today revealed that first-quarter employment prospects are expected to be strongest in India, New Zealand, Taiwan, United States and Australia. On the other hand, employers in Germany, Italy and Austria are forecasting negative hiring expectations for the quarter ahead, with their counterparts in Sweden and France reporting their weakest hiring outlooks since the survey began in these countries in the third quarter of 2003. While 19 of 23 countries surveyed reported positive hiring outlooks for the quarter ahead, 11 of 23 were weaker compared to last year at this time and most of the lower outlooks are from European employers. The quarterly report from Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from more than 45,000 employers across the globe each quarter.

"First-quarter hiring across the European labor markets we survey is typically soft, but this year it appears more pervasive, with only UK employers looking to accelerate hiring from the fourth quarter," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc. "A number of labor markets in this region are currently experiencing challenging political, social and economic conditions and this is clearly having an impact on businesses' willingness and/or ability to add to their workforces. For now, at least, companies are going to continue to be cautious."

Of the 12 countries surveyed across Europe, employment prospects are strongest in the UK, Ireland, Norway, Belgium and Spain.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, hiring in Asia Pacific remains strong. Indian employers continue their solid hiring pace, albeit at a considerably reduced rate from the previous quarter, and employers in New Zealand, Taiwan, Australia, Hong Kong, China and Japan all expect to increase hiring activity slightly from the fourth quarter of 2005. However, year-over- year decreases in hiring expectations were reported in both Hong Kong and New Zealand.

"Hiring expectations in India continue to be strongest in the finance/insurance/real estate and services industry sectors," said Joerres. "However, Indian employers are decidedly more uncertain about hiring as the data shows a 14 percent increase from fourth quarter in the number employers who don't know whether they'll add employees during the next three months. This corresponds to a slowdown from the fourth quarter across all sectors of the Indian labor market. Notably, Japanese employers reported their strongest first quarter outlook since our survey began and they anticipate hiring at the same steady pace seen over the past two quarters."

In the Americas, seasonally adjusted data indicates that slightly slower hiring is expected in six of 10 U.S. industry sectors in the first quarter, but the overall outlook for the U.S. is strong. Canadian employers, too, expect a healthy hiring pace but just slightly below the rate reported in the previous year. In Mexico, employer hiring expectations improved moderately from first quarter of 2005.

"Seasonally adjusted data indicates that U.S. job seekers can expect the same solid hiring pace that employers exhibited throughout 2005," said Joerres. "Employers are most upbeat about hiring in the construction sector where the adjusted data shows the strongest outlook in 27 years. Slightly weaker but solid hiring expectations are also expected in the U.S. manufacturing and services sectors. Both Canadian and Mexican employers have healthy hiring intentions in the services sector, with Canada's result being the most optimistic in 16 years. In addition, demand for fossil fuels is contributing to extremely vigorous hiring in the Canadian mining sector where employers reported their most optimistic outlook in the 43-year history of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 14th of March 2006 to report hiring expectations for the second quarter of 2006.

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 .

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 45,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 23 countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, 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, India, Switzerland 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; organizational consulting services; and professional financial services. Manpower's worldwide network of 4,300 offices in 72 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 and Elan. 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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