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Global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Weaker Job Prospects for the Majority of World Labor Markets Compared to One Year Ago

Quarter-over-quarter data suggests hiring outlooks may be stabilizing, especially in Europe

Jun 10, 2008

Employers in most of the world's major labor markets are less optimistic about hiring in the third quarter, saying they will add fewer employees to their payrolls compared to one year ago, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of global hiring trends released today by Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN). The quarterly survey results indicate a relatively stable outlook -- mainly in Europe, with about half of the countries included in the survey program expecting to reduce hiring, and the other half planning to continue hiring at a steady pace or increasing headcount in the third quarter.


"It should be no surprise that the global labor market is decidedly more cautious in light of the current economic climate, with employers in most of the countries we survey planning to slow the pace of hiring from this time last year," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "Employers in all of the G7 countries are expecting to hire at a slower pace from July through September than they were a year ago, which is concerning, however the quarterly trend shows that these labor markets remain healthy with five of the seven countries holding steady or showing improvement.

"Of the G7 countries, only those employers in the U.S. and Japan are planning to reduce hiring between second and third quarter of this year," Joerres added. "France, Germany, Italy and the U.K. are all planning to maintain a steady hiring pace from now through September, while Canadian employers indicate a slight improvement. In the important emerging markets of China and India, employers are planning to increase hiring as they enter the third quarter."

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world with interviews of more than 55,000 employers each quarter. The survey data reveals that the most optimistic third-quarter hiring plans globally are reported by employers in India, Singapore, Peru, Poland, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, Romania, Argentina, Taiwan, Australia, Mexico and Japan. On the other hand, employers in Spain, Italy and Ireland are reporting the weakest job prospects in the next three months.

Of the seven countries surveyed in the Americas, employers in Peru, Costa Rica and Argentina are most optimistic about adding staff in the next three months, while those in Canada are the least optimistic. Mexican employers continue to be upbeat about hiring while employer confidence in the U.S. continues to decline.

"The employment picture in the U.S. is slightly weaker than three months ago, with the Construction sector continuing to struggle. However, job seekers should find ample opportunities in the Services sector. Despite the weaker hiring climate there are still specific skills across the country that are in very high demand, such as engineers, machinists and skilled manual trades, where demand is outstripping supply," said Joerres. "The weakness seen north of the border has not appeared to suppress Mexican employers' appetite for workers. For the third consecutive quarter employers in the Transport & Communication sector have the strongest hiring plans with those in the Mining and Extraction sector reporting the strongest job prospects in six years."

As was the case in the second quarter, across the 17 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, employers in Poland, Romania, Greece, S. Africa and Norway are most optimistic about hiring in the quarter ahead. In contrast, the hiring forecasts from Spanish, Italian and Irish employers are the least optimistic in the region and globally.

"In Poland, hiring optimism is being bolstered by new job opportunities from infrastructure improvements and a stronger currency, which is luring many migrant Poles working abroad back home. This could have an adverse impact on the markets that rely so heavily on this foreign talent to fill critical skills shortages," said Joerres. "Meanwhile, the continued positive outlook in Germany is being fueled by strong demand in the Construction and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sectors."

In Asia Pacific, the survey data continues to show varying degrees of positive hiring expectations. Employer hiring plans have softened from both the second quarter and one year ago in five of eight countries and territories surveyed. The strongest employer hiring plans were again reported in India and Singapore, while employers in China reported the weakest hiring outlook in the region for the fourth consecutive quarter.

"Some of the softness in the region can be attributed to weaker job prospects in the Transportation & Utilities and Wholesale/Retail Trade sectors, where year-over-year outlooks are weaker in seven of eight countries and territories," said Joerres. "Job prospects in the Services sector have accelerated in India and Hong Kong from three months ago with the outlooks being the most optimistic since the surveys began in these markets. Similarly, the forecast from employers in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector in Taiwan is the strongest in three years. Year-over-year hiring expectations are again weaker across every industry sector surveyed in China, but employer hiring expectations are notably improved from three months ago."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on the 9th of September 2008 to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2008. 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:

Note to Editors

Full survey results for each of the 32 countries and territories included in this quarter's survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the Manpower Press Room at 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

Note that in Quarter 2 of 2008, the survey adopted the TRAMO-SEATS model for seasonal adjustment of data. As a result, you may notice some seasonally adjusted data points change slightly from previous reports. This model is recommended by the Eurostat department of the European Union and the European Central Bank and is widely used internationally.

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 45 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 55,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 32 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, 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. The Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Poland and Romania joined in 2008. 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. Celebrating its 60th anniversary in 2008, the $21 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 4,500 offices in 80 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: Bruce Bock of Manpower Inc., mobile, +1-414-687-5566,

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