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ManpowerGroup's Global Hiring Confidence Index for Q1 2012 Reveals Employers in 30 of 41 Countries a

ManpowerGroup's Global Hiring Confidence Index for Q1 2012 Reveals Employers in 30 of 41 Countries and Territories Surveyed Set to Slow Hiring from Fourth Quarter 2011

Financial uncertainty in Europe continues to drag on hiring confidence positive signals seen in the U.S., Japan and India as Chinese job prospects continue to cool

According to ManpowerGroup's (NYSE: MAN) first quarter 2012 Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today, job seekers can expect a slower first-quarter hiring pace than fourth quarter of 2011 in the majority of the world's labor markets. But while the more subdued employer hiring plans continue to reflect current economic challenges and uncertainty, forecasts do remain in positive territory in 31 of 41 countries, with results for the U.S., Japan and India revealing some positive signals. Meanwhile, hiring optimism in the Chinese market declines considerably from this time last year.

"The current economic climate is contributing to increased caution in the global labor market with employers in the majority of countries we survey planning to slow hiring from fourth quarter, as debt issues in Europe continue to create uncertainty," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup. "Companies are truly global now and we are seeing themes across countries and regions when it comes to supply and demand issues and the impact on their talent needs. In the U.S., we see forecasts improving slightly or remaining stable in 9 of 13 sectors from both last year and three months ago hiring plans in India bounce back after a decline in the previous quarter and the forecast for Japan shows continued resilience and the strongest hiring plans since the third quarter of 2008. On the other hand, we see employer hiring plans in China slow considerably from this time last year, due to government measures to cool the economy and declining demand from its biggest export market — Europe."

ManpowerGroup's labor market research reveals first quarter hiring expectations are positive in 31 of 41 countries and territories, with Net Employment Outlooks declining from three months ago in 30 countries and territories. Outlooks are softer in 23 countries and territories compared to this time last year, but are stable or improved in 16. Hiring intentions for the first three months of the new year are strongest in India, Brazil, Taiwan, Panama and Turkey, and weakest in Greece, Hungary and Italy, where a greater percentage of employers in these three countries are planning to trim payrolls rather than hire staff.

Although positive hiring activity is expected in 13 of 22 countries surveyed across Europe and the Middle East, Net Employment Outlooks are weaker from three months ago in 17 countries and 11 compared to this time last year. Regional hiring plans are strongest in Turkey, Israel and Germany, and weakest in Greece and Hungary, where hiring confidence continues to erode.

"Hiring intentions in Germany continue to be optimistic with the strongest demand expected in the Finance and Business Services sector. And because German employers have not seen the expected inflow of skilled workers as a result of this year's new EU mobility legislation and the unemployment rate remains among the lowest in Europe, talent shortages remain a real issue. In fact, we're seeing our German clients increasingly hire our temporary associates as full-time, permanent staff," said Joerres. "In Eastern Europe, with the exception of Turkey and Slovenia, employer hiring plans weaken in six of the eight countries we survey, most notably in Hungary where 22 percent of employers are telling us they will cut staff in the quarter ahead. On the other hand, the optimistic outlook in the Turkish labor market is due in part to stronger demand in the Pharmaceuticals and Finance and Business Services sectors."

Across the Asia Pacific region, job prospects remain solid but employers in six of eight countries and territories are expecting to ease hiring compared to three months ago, most notably in Singapore. Compared to last year at this time, employers in six countries and territories say they will slow the pace of hiring, with the forecast in China weakening considerably. Hiring plans in Japan remain the least robust in the region, but the outlook improves slightly from the previous quarter and 12 months ago.

"Indian jobseekers should see hiring activity rebound in the first quarter, as GDP growth continues. This is becoming increasingly difficult as India's national workforce struggles to keep pace with demand for these technology roles," said Joerres. "Meanwhile, employer hiring expectations drop across all Chinese industry sectors compared to three months ago and this time last year, but despite the slowdown job seekers with relevant skills should still find plenty of opportunities. In Japan, as the country gradually recovers from the 11 March natural disaster, the labor market continues to strengthen with the strongest job prospects found in the Mining and Construction sector. However, the talent mismatch remains a serious concern for job seekers and employers alike in the Tohoku area."

Across the 10 countries Manpower surveys in the Americas, employer hiring plans remain positive in all countries, with Net Employment Outlooks remaining relatively stable or improving in six of the 10 countries in comparison to the fourth quarter 2011. The year-on-year comparison is split, with outlooks strengthening or weakening five countries. Regional hiring expectations are strongest in Brazil and weakest in the U.S., where employers expect slightly more hiring activity in the next three months.

"We're clearly seeing the most aggressive hiring in Brazil—particularly in the Services and Transportation sectors where nearly half of all employers surveyed expect to add staff in the quarter ahead. But employer optimism in Brazil's typically strong Manufacturing sector is noticeably softer machinery orders are down and the industry is feeling the effects of increased pressure from imports, and job seekers there will likely see a lull in demand for their talents," said Joerres.

"In the U.S., news continues to be good for job hunters in the Leisure & Hospitality sector. Nearly a quarter of employers in this sector tell us they will add staff in the next three months, and this is on top of the nearly 350,000 jobs added since the sector emerged from its recent low point in January of 2010."

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 13 March 2012 to report hiring expectations for the second quarter of 2012.  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:


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