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Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Robust Hiring Activity Ahead in Japan, and a Return to Optimism Among German Employers

U.S. Hiring to Continue Rolling Along, as China Slows the Pace From Last Year

Mar 14, 2006

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today revealed that second-quarter hiring is expected to be positive in 23 of 24 countries and territories surveyed, with Japanese and German employers reporting their most optimistic hiring plans since the survey began in these countries in the second quarter of 2003. The strongest second-quarter hiring prospects reported globally were in Japan, India, Taiwan, Peru, New Zealand and Hong Kong, with only Italian employers reporting a negative hiring outlook for the quarter ahead. This quarter also marks the first time the survey has been conducted with employers across Peru. The quarterly report from Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from more than 47,000 employers across the globe each quarter.

"Despite high fuel prices and other challenges, the global labor market looks set to improve in most of Europe and Asia in the second quarter, with steady hiring set to continue in the Americas," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "German employers are saying they will begin to add employees again, albeit modestly, and hiring activity in Japan should be vigorous, beyond what we normally see in the second quarter -- their peak hiring season. Chinese employers say they will reduce their hiring activity compared to last year at this time, while U.S. employers expect to add to their payrolls at a continued steady pace."

Employers in 10 of 12 European countries surveyed are reporting stronger hiring intentions compared to first quarter and nearly two-thirds are reporting improvements from last year at this time. Second-quarter hiring prospects are the strongest in Spain, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and the UK, based on seasonally adjusted data. Notably, the only negative Outlook for Europe was reported in Italy where employers have been pessimistic for three consecutive quarters. German, Spanish, Swiss and Dutch employers are reporting their strongest hiring intentions since the survey began in those countries.

"Compared to the first three months of the year, hiring intentions in Europe are decidedly improved, however, Italy continues to lag behind," said Joerres. "Encouragingly, German employment prospects have improved from both the first quarter and a year ago at this time, with the strongest hiring activity anticipated by employers in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate/Business Services sector."

Of the eight countries and territories included in the survey across Asia Pacific, hiring activity is expected to be strongest in Japan, India and Taiwan, while the weakest hiring in the region is anticipated in Singapore, Australia and China. While hiring is set to improve from first quarter in the majority of countries surveyed in Asia Pacific, employment prospects are weaker than the same quarter of 2005 in Australia, China, New Zealand and Taiwan.

"A large part of the robust hiring expectations in Asia Pacific can be attributed to activity in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Manufacturing, and Services sectors, where improvements from first quarter were reported in these sectors across nearly every country," said Joerres. "Meanwhile, employers in five of six industry sectors we survey in China say they will slow hiring from one year ago, the only exception is the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector."

Hiring across the Americas is expected to remain stable from last year at this time. Employers in Peru joined the survey this quarter with particularly optimistic second-quarter hiring plans, the strongest of the four countries surveyed. In Canada, employer hiring expectations are slightly improved from both the first quarter and this time last year.

"The labor markets in North America have been incredibly stable and, as is so often the case, the Mexican labor market is moving in tandem with its northern neighbor," said Joerres. "There is notable optimism amongst employers in the Construction sector in both the U.S. and Mexico, where job seekers should find favorable conditions."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 13th of June 2006 to report hiring expectations for the third 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 47,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 24 countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, 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, China, India, Switzerland and Taiwan were added in 2005, and Peru joined in 2006. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at and enter the Research Center.

About Manpower Inc.

Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work. The $16 billion company offers employers a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower's worldwide network of 4,400 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 across their total workforce, enabling clients to concentrate on their core business activities. Manpower Inc. operates under five brands: Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management. More information on Manpower Inc. is available at .

SOURCE: Manpower Inc.

CONTACT: Britt Zarling of Manpower Inc., +1-414-906-7272, or

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