Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Shows Few Signs of Global Breakthrough
Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Shows Few Signs of Global Breakthrough, Despite Positive Hiring Plans in Most Labor Markets
Slowdown in China and India as Europe Remains Challenged Steady Hiring Pace in U.S. Expected to Continue
ManpowerGroup’s third-quarter 2013 Manpower Employment Outlook survey, released today, provides little evidence that global hiring plans are improving by any notable degree into the second half of the year as uncertainty continues to hinder employer confidence across the globe.
This quarter’s research of over 65,000 hiring managers in 42 countries and territories reveals:
? Hiring Activity Slows: Employers in 31 countries and territories surveyed plan to boost payrolls in the coming quarter, compared with 32 of 42 in Q2. Hiring optimism strengthens quarter-over-quarter in 17 countries and territories but weaken in 21. When compared with one year ago at this time, outlooks improve in 14 countries and territories but decline in 26.
? Emerging Markets Again Head the Pack: Employers in Taiwan, Brazil, Panama, Peru and Turkey reported the strongest hiring expectations globally. The weakest markets for job seekers are expected in Italy, Ireland and Spain.
? Europe Still Buffeted by Economic Headwinds: Although hiring expectations are positive in 13 of 24 countries in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, employers report negative hiring intentions in nine countries — the same number as in Q2. The Net Employment Outlook in France is negative for the first time in four years, and although the outlook in Greece remains negative, it continues to improve.
? Asia-Pacific Positive, But Hesitant: Workforces are expected to grow in all eight countries and territories in the region but employers in India report the weakest forecast since joining the survey eight years ago. China’s Outlook is the weakest in three-and-a-half years.
? Percentage of U.S. Employers Planning to Add to Payrolls Strongest in Four Years: The U.S. labor market remains upbeat, with the overall percentage of U.S. employers expecting to hire during the third quarter greater than at any point since before 2009.
“Employers around the world are growing accustomed to unpredictable economic conditions and are becoming increasingly agile in the face of an ever-changing environment,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO. “They are remaining disciplined and only pulling the trigger as demand dictates, resulting in a decidedly pedestrian global hiring pace.
“Sluggish demand is actually exacerbating talent shortages as companies who are looking to boost payrolls are more selective about potential hires, seeking that exact match instead of taking the time to develop the skills of less-qualified applicants. If demand for their products and services was more robust, they would not have the same luxury of time — hence the apparent head-scratcher of listless jobs growth and greater skills shortages.”
Uncertainties continue to mount in Europe, with few indications of hiring momentum building. Turkey has the region’s brightest outlook, but sill declines moderately both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year. France has slipped into recession and German employers are in wait-and-see mode. Outlooks decline from the previous quarter and this year at this time in most major markets, but British employers remain cautiously optimistic and employer confidence in Greece, though still negative, improves for the fourth consecutive quarter.
“Europe shows a mixed picture by region and southern Europe is extremely challenged, although there are positive signals from Greece,” said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup President, who last month led discussions with employers in Europe on the skills gap and presented the key recommendations to former U.S. President Bill Clinton. “Long-term and youth unemployment in the region is of particular concern and more emphasis must be put on helping young people find employment in this new economy. In Spain, for example, measures are being established to promote entrepreneurship and self-employment.”
“Northern Europe, despite its relative strength, is less promising as Swedish employers report their first negative forecast in four years and the outlook in Belgium is at its weakest in over three years,” said Darryl Green, ManpowerGroup President. “However, in the UK, there is room for optimism — finance and business services employers report their most promising outlook in more than two years and employers in London their strongest hiring plans in five years. Available jobs in the city’s financial district have increased as confidence returns following the Cyprus financial crisis.”
Uncertainty is also evident in Asia-Pacific with employers in two of the region’s largest economies — China and India — continuing to scale back hiring plans. By contrast, employers in Taiwan report the most optimistic global hiring intentions and outlooks improve in all industry sectors from the prior quarter. Japanese employers also report their strongest forecast for five years, with outlooks improving in most industry sectors and regions.
“Some of the downturn in India is attributable to the decline of the country’s business process outsourcing industry, while companies remain frustrated with the disconnect between their skills requirements and available skills in the marketplace,” added Green. “Taiwan’s services sector is especially strong due to its growing number of visitors and Japanese automotive manufacturers are benefitting from rising exports due to a weaker yen.”
Employers in all 10 countries in the Americas expect to grow staffing levels in the coming quarter, with job prospects in Brazil, Panama and Peru among the strongest globally. Employers in Argentina, Canada and Costa Rica report the weakest prospects, while the overall percentage of U.S. employers expecting to hire in the third quarter is greater than at any point since before 2009. For the second consecutive quarter, employers in all 50 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia report positive hiring plans.
“Compared to the challenges faced by other parts of the world, the U.S. hiring situation is fairly robust as demand for products and services further improves,” added Prising. “Brazil still has a strong outlook despite slowdowns in most sectors and regions. Panama and Peru’s labor markets are also dynamic, with the former’s manufacturing sector buoyant even as work on Panama’s canal reconstruction project is winding down.”
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Explorer tool, a new interactive way to examine and compare ManpowerGroup’s data, can be viewed at http://www.manpowergroupsolutions.com/DataExplorer/. The tool includes at-a-glance maps and graphs that plot historical and current global hiring trends. The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 10 September 2013 to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2013.