Employers are optimistic about adding to their workforces in the first quarter of 2007, with those in 20 countries and territories reporting more robust hiring plans than one year ago, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of global hiring trends released today by Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN). In contrast to the first quarter of 2006, European employers in 11 of 12 countries say they will boost year-over-year hiring activity, with employers in Germany reporting a second consecutive quarter of positive job prospects. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from nearly 50,000 employers across 27 countries and territories each quarter.
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"The global labor market looks set for a positive start to 2007 with employers in most of Europe and Asia planning to increase hiring compared to the first quarter of 2006, and the U.S. job market continuing to plug along at a steady pace," said Jeffrey Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "The German labor market appears to be gaining momentum with a second consecutive quarter of healthier job prospects ahead, while employers in Singapore and India are set to accelerate hiring considerably from 12 months ago."
The first quarter of the year is historically a slow period for hiring in many countries, as holiday workers finish their assignments and the colder winter months inhibit work in the northern hemisphere in industries such as agriculture, construction and tourism.
The Manpower survey showed the most optimistic hiring expectations for the first quarter are in Peru, Singapore, India, Argentina, South Africa, Costa Rica, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Employers in Belgium, Costa Rica, Peru, Ireland, Japan, Spain, Switzerland and South Africa are reporting their most optimistic hiring plans since the survey began in these countries. In addition, the survey was expanded to Argentina this quarter, where employer hiring expectations are among the strongest in the survey.
Of the six countries surveyed in the Americas, Peruvian employers are the most optimistic about adding to their workforces, while employers in the remaining countries expect continued positive hiring activity. The hiring pace is expected to be similar from one year ago in Canada, Mexico and the United States.
"Although the overall hiring outlook remains healthy in the U.S., we are seeing a little more caution by employers, especially in the Construction, Manufacturing-Durables and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sectors, where hiring is expected to slow from both the fourth quarter and one year ago," said Joerres. "On the upside, U.S. employers in the Services sector, as well as those in Mexico and Canada, say they will continue their strong pace of hiring. Notably, the Mexican labor market continues a strong steady growth trend that began in third quarter of 2004."
Across the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, job prospects are strongest in South Africa, Ireland, Spain, the United Kingdom, Sweden and Belgium, while Italian employers report the weakest regional hiring expectations. Employers in Norway are the only ones in the region indicating that they will slow hiring from one year ago. This quarter's result from Norwegian employers is the weakest in two years.
"Our data from the EMEA region shows notable strength in the Transport & Communication and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sectors where there should be ample opportunities for job seekers throughout the region," said Joerres.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the globe, in Asia Pacific, hiring prospects remain strong but are slightly weaker than three months ago. Compared to first quarter of 2006, hiring is expected to improve in seven of eight countries and territories surveyed. Hiring expectations are strongest in Singapore and India, and weakest in Taiwan. Regional data was added for the first time this quarter in China, where employers are the most optimistic about adding staff in Beijing and least optimistic in Wuhan.
"The Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector is the driving force in this quarter's significantly improved employment outlook for Singapore, however, employers across all industry sectors expect to accelerate hiring from 12 months ago in a very tight market for talent," said Joerres. "The strong outlook in the Japanese market is being fueled, in part, by the Wholesale/Retail Trade sector and in India there is notable improvement reported in the Mining & Construction sector, where employers expect to more than double the pace of hiring from one year ago."
The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 13th of March 2007 to report hiring expectations for the second quarter. 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 http://investor.manpower.com/distlist.cfm .
Note to Editors
All comments are based on seasonally adjusted data where available. The region reported in the past as "Europe" has been changed to "Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)" to include results from South Africa, which joined the survey program in the 4th quarter of 2006.
Full survey results for each of the 27 countries and territories included in this quarter's survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the Manpower Press Room at http://www.manpower.com/meos . In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the Manpower Web site at http://www.manpower.com/library .
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 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 27 countries and territories: Argentina, 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 Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and South Africa joined in 2006. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at http://www.manpower.com/ 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 73 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 http://www.manpower.com/ .
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