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New-Year Hiring Expected to Return to Pre-Recession Pace in Asia Pacific, While Job Prospects Continue to Slowly Improve in the Americas and Europe

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Weakest First-Quarter Hiring Plans for the U.S. Since 1982, With Indian Employers Most Optimistic About Adding Staff

Dec 8, 2009

According to the global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results released today by Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN), job seekers across most of the Asia Pacific region should start the new year with employment opportunities similar to those seen prior to the global downturn; Indian employers are reporting the strongest hiring plans globally. Meanwhile, employment prospects in the Americas remain muted but are generally improved from three months ago. In the U.S., employers are more optimistic than three months ago, but are still forecasting the weakest first-quarter hiring pace since 1982. Across Europe, hiring sentiments are mixed with employers in eight countries indicating modest improvements compared to three months ago.


"Data results from Asia Pacific confirm the progress toward recovery we began to see in the final quarter of 2009. It indicates most labor markets should turn the corner across the region with employers expecting hiring to return to a pre-recession pace. And while the global market remains difficult, in the Americas and Europe we are seeing limited but continued positive signals," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc. "We have yet to see the robust hiring intentions we have seen in past recoveries, however, we are seeing clear signs of improvement. An increase in job prospects also means that companies will need to ensure they strengthen their employer brands, as companies will now start to experience higher attrition based on an improving employment outlook."

The Manpower survey shows employers in 25 of 35 countries and territories surveyed expect some positive hiring activity in the first quarter, while those reporting negative hiring expectations decreased from 15 three months ago to nine for the first quarter of 2010. However, employers in Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland and Romania are reporting their weakest hiring plans to date. Employers in 19 countries and territories are reporting stronger year-over-year outlooks. First-quarter hiring plans are strongest in India, Brazil, Singapore, Taiwan, Costa Rica, Australia, Peru and Hong Kong and weakest in Ireland, Romania and Spain.

Of the 18 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, hiring expectations are mixed with employers in nine countries reporting positive hiring activity for the quarter ahead. Compared to three months ago, outlooks improved in nine EMEA countries and in eight where year-over-year comparisons can be made. Hiring activity in the region is expected to be strongest in Norway, Sweden and Germany.

"Last quarter employers from only three European countries were reporting positive hiring activity and while we haven't reached an inflection point yet, today there are eight countries indicating a more positive trend," said Joerres. "Europe most likely will experience only incremental improvements until consumer demand becomes more robust. Germany is one of the region's bright spots, fueled partly by optimism in the Finance and Business Services sector where 16 percent of employers tell us they will add employees in the first three months of the year."

In the Asia Pacific region, hiring plans are strongest in India, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia, with the weakest and only negative outlook again reported in Japan. Job prospects improve quarter-over-quarter in all eight countries and territories with the most notable gains seen in Australia, India and New Zealand. Year-over-year comparisons also reveal stronger hiring plans in all countries and territories except Japan.

"Manufacturing expectations are boosting optimism throughout the region with outlooks in this sector improving in every country and territory from both three months ago and last year at this time. Meanwhile, Indian employers in the Services sector are pressing the hiring accelerator again in anticipation of their contract pipelines firming up - 10 percent more expect to add employees in the next three months," said Joerres. "In stark contrast, Japanese employers remain reluctant to hire. This is bad news for job seekers in the months ahead, especially in the Transportation and Utilities sector where 24 percent of employers are telling us they will reduce staff."

Of the nine countries surveyed in the Americas region, hiring expectations have improved somewhat from three months ago in all countries with the exception of Colombia. However, year-over-year comparisons remain mixed, with the most notable improvement reported by Mexican employers. Regional hiring plans are strongest in Brazil, Costa Rica and Peru.

"We continue to see signs of stabilization in labor markets throughout the Americas although job prospects remain muted. For example, even though the U.S. forecast is weak, the percentage of employers saying they will hold on to the staff they have is the highest in the history of our survey - and that's good news," said Joerres. "In Mexico, outlooks have improved from last year in every sector and region and eight percent more Brazilian employers expect to increase their payrolls from three months ago. So while the Americas market may appear frozen, we are starting to see a thaw."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 9 March 2010 to report hiring expectations for the second quarter of 2010. 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

Commentary is based on seasonally adjusted data where available. Full survey results for each of the 35 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

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 nearly 71,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 35 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, 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. Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Poland and Romania joined in 2008 and Hungary and Brazil were added in 2009. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at and enter the Research Center, or contact Bruce Bock, Sr. Global Communications Manager at

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. With over 60 years' experience, Manpower 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 4,100 offices in 82 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: Marci Pelzer of Manpower Inc., +1-414-687-8441 (mobile),

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