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Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Shows Strong Hiring Ahead in Third Quarter for India, as China Reports Weaker Hiring Plans

Employment Outlook Declines in Germany, While U.S. Employers Continue Steady Hiring Trend

Jun 13, 2006

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today revealed that third-quarter hiring is expected to be positive in 23 of 25 countries and territories surveyed, with employers in India, Japan, Hong Kong, Ireland and Belgium reporting their most optimistic hiring plans to date, based on seasonally adjusted data. Meanwhile, the labor market continues to cool in China with employers reporting their weakest hiring plans since the survey began there.

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The strongest third-quarter hiring prospects reported globally were in India, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and the United States with only German 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 Costa Rica, where employment prospects are among the strongest. The quarterly report from Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from more than 49,000 employers across the globe each quarter.

"Overall, the global labor market appears to be in good shape with continued steady hiring expected in the U.S. and throughout the Americas. Europe continues to improve from last year and hiring activity is generally strong across Asia Pacific," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "Currently, we are seeing peaks, such as the continued robust hiring outlooks in India and Japan, and valleys, such as renewed pessimism in Germany and the weaker indications in China, but employers in the majority of the countries we survey are adding to their workforces."

Of the eight countries and territories included in the survey across Asia Pacific, adjusted data reveals hiring activity is expected to be strongest in India, Hong Kong and Japan -- all at record levels of optimism -- while the weakest hiring in the region is anticipated in China and Singapore. The survey results have weakened from the second quarter in five of the eight countries, but half expect to hire more compared to this time last year.

"The ongoing war for talent in India's BPO industry, along with strong demand in the Mining & Construction sector, continues to fuel employers' hiring expectations," said Joerres. Japanese employers maintain their optimistic hiring plans, with the majority of the activity expected in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector. Notably, hiring is set to slow yet again in China with employers in every industry sector saying they will hire fewer people than they did three months ago. The first negative hiring expectations reported in the Chinese Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector are contributing to the weakest hiring plans in China in more than a year. Joerres added, "In our business, we are seeing severe talent shortages in China, which may be contributing to the decreased level of hiring activity that is expected from employers."

Adjusted data shows employers in 10 of 12 European countries surveyed expect to add to their workforces in the next three months, and half are reporting improved hiring expectations from last year at this time. Third- quarter hiring prospects are the strongest in Ireland, Norway, UK, Austria, Spain and Belgium, with Belgian and Irish employers reporting their most optimistic hiring plans to date. The weakest and only negative hiring outlook in Europe was reported in Germany.

"Unfortunately, employers' confidence in the German labor market is continuing to see-saw from quarter to quarter, but the long-term trend shows that hiring expectations are considerably improved from three years ago," said Joerres. "Of the European countries where we conduct the survey, solid year- over-year improvements in the Utilities and Transportation/Storage/Communication sectors are contributing to stronger third-quarter hiring plans across the region."

Hiring across the Americas is expected to remain relatively stable from both the second quarter and last year at this time. Employers in Costa Rica joined the survey this quarter with solid third-quarter hiring plans, the most optimistic of the five countries surveyed. Meanwhile, employer hiring expectations in the United States, Canada and Mexico are similar to third quarter of 2005.

"The major North American labor markets are clearly moving in unison. Across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, hiring plans are being bolstered by strong activity in the Services sector," said Joerres. "In the U.S., hiring in the Construction sector is expected to cool slightly from last quarter and last year, while employers in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate market are reporting their most optimistic outlook since the second quarter of 2005."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 12th of September 2006 to report hiring expectations for the fourth 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 nearly 50,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 25 countries and territories: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, 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 and Costa Rica 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 clients 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 .

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SOURCE: Manpower Inc.

CONTACT: Britt Zarling of Manpower Inc., +1-414-526-3107,

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