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Global Survey of 49,000 Employers Reveals Stable or Improved Hiring Activity Ahead for Most Major Labor Markets

Job Prospects to Improve in Germany and Italy, Remain Stable in the U.S.

Sep 12, 2006

According to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of more than 49,000 employers in 26 countries and territories released today, employers in most major labor markets expect to hire in the fourth quarter at a pace equal to, or stronger than, the same period last year, casting a bit of doubt on popular public sentiment of gloomy days ahead. Survey results reveal brighter prospects ahead for job seekers in Germany and Italy in the next three months, and steady hiring plans through the end of the year in the United States.

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"U.S. employers are telling us they will continue to hire through year-end at the same solid pace seen over the past 10 quarters, despite the wariness that we are hearing elsewhere about the economy," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "We are not seeing the typical softening of the labor markets in Europe that we normally see in the fourth quarter," said Joerres. "In Germany and Italy, employers are notably more optimistic about adding employees in the fourth quarter than they have been for quite some time."

The quarterly survey from Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, found the strongest fourth- quarter hiring prospects globally are expected in Peru, India, Singapore, Hong Kong and Australia. Employers in Austria, Australia, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Italy, Germany and Singapore are reporting their most optimistic hiring plans since the survey began in these countries. While employers in all 26 countries and territories surveyed expect positive hiring activity in the next three months, those in 18 countries and territories are reporting improved outlooks from one year ago, based on seasonally adjusted data. The survey was expanded to South Africa this quarter, where employers are decidedly positive about hiring more employees in the three months ahead.

"The Asia Pacific labor markets appear to be picking up steam, with employers in Australia, China and Singapore saying they will accelerate hiring from both the third quarter of 2006 and fourth quarter of last year," said Joerres. "In China, the strongest hiring activity is expected in the Transportation and Utilities industry sectors, where aviation, cargo and container handling companies continue to see growth."

Overall, the employment outlook is positive across the Asia Pacific region where the most robust fourth-quarter hiring activity is anticipated in India, Singapore and Hong Kong. Compared to this time last year, job prospects have improved in seven of eight Asia Pacific countries and territories, with employers in Australia, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore reporting their most optimistic hiring outlooks since the survey began in these countries in 2003.

Of the 13 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, employment expectations are strongest in South Africa, Ireland, Norway, Austria and Sweden. Compared to the fourth quarter of 2005, the employment picture has improved in nine countries and weakened in just two -- Spain and France, with the latter reporting the weakest hiring expectations in the region and globally. Conversely, employers in Austria, Italy and Germany reported their most optimistic hiring plans since the surveys began in these countries in 2003.

In the Americas, employers are reporting strong, stable outlooks with the most optimistic hiring plans found among Peruvian employers, who are likely encouraged by the business-friendly reforms promised by a newly elected government. Canadian employers anticipate the strongest hiring activity in six years and Mexican employer optimism equals that of its northern neighbors.

"Hiring expectations among U.S. employers in the key sectors of Manufacturing, Services and Wholesale/Retail Trade remain stable from both third quarter and last year at this time," said Joerres. "Although some easing has occurred in the housing market, Construction sector employers say they will hire at the same solid pace seen over the past three months," he added.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 12th of December 2006 to report hiring expectations for the first quarter of 2007.

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 most extensive 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 49,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 26 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, South Africa, 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, Costa Rica and South Africa 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, Manpower Inc., +1-414-906-7272, or

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