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Hiring confidence falls in London amid Brexit plans, reveals ManpowerGroup

Opportunities for job seekers around the world are expected to improve in the second quarter of 2017 with employers in 39 of 43 countries anticipating increases to their headcounts, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

Hiring confidence is strongest in Taiwan, Japan, Slovenia, India, Hungary and the United States. In Western Europe employers are less confident about hiring intentions than the rest of the region; Italy, Belgium and Switzerland report some of the weakest Outlooks worldwide.

Of the 58,000 employers surveyed across 43 countries and territories:

  • Employers in 39 countries and territories expect to increase staffing levels in Q2 2017.
  • When compared to Q1 2017, hiring prospects strengthen in 17 countries and territories, are unchanged in 11 and decline in 15.
  • Confidence levels are strengthening year-on-year in 25 countries and territories and remaining stable in three.

Jonas Prising, chairman & CEO of ManpowerGroup, said, "Across the world we are seeing positive hiring intentions despite a slow growth business environment. Employers are more subdued in Western Europe where there is more uncertainty as elections are set to happen through the year. Having seen the surprising election results in the UK and U.S. in 2016, European businesses know to expect the unexpected.

"Even in countries where hiring intentions are positive some employers are experiencing challenges finding individuals with the most in-demand skills. We are seeing the emergence of a Skills Revolution, where helping people upskill and adapt to a fast-changing world of work will be the defining challenge of our time."

In EMEA, staffing levels are expected to grow in 22 of 25 countries surveyed. Employers in Slovenia, Hungary and Romania report the strongest hiring plans in the EMEA region and employers in Italy, Belgium and Switzerland report the weakest.

Dutch employers continue to report cautiously optimistic hiring plans, fuelled by an upbeat forecast in the Finance & Business Services sector.

In France, employers expect modest hiring activity in the coming quarter, except for the construction sector where employers report the strongest Outlook in more than 10 years.

As plans for Brexit continue in the UK, hiring confidence has fallen in the "remain" heartlands of London and Scotland where business hiring has dropped to its lowest level since Q1 2014. The overall Net Employment Outlook in the UK has dropped two points to +5%.

In Asia Pacific, payrolls are expected to increase in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories during Q2 2017. For the second consecutive quarter, employers in Taiwan report the most optimistic forecast in the region—as well as across the globe. For the fourth consecutive quarter employers in China report the region's weakest forecast.

Employers in Japan continue to anticipate a solid hiring environment, with bright job prospects expected in transportation & utilities where the forecast is the strongest reported since Q2 2008. Similarly, Japanese employers in wholesale & retail trade report their most optimistic hiring plans in 10 years.

The strength of India's forecast is exceeded only by three other countries and territories that participate in the survey. However, employer confidence in India has dipped steadily for five consecutive quarters and the second-quarter forecast is the weakest reported since the country joined the survey in 2005.

In the Americas, positive outlooks are reported in nine of the 10 countries surveyed. For the third consecutive quarter employers in the United States report the strongest hiring plans in the Americas, and for the ninth consecutive quarter employers in Brazil report the weakest.

U.S. employers' hiring intentions remain upbeat despite recent political uncertainty. Nearly one quarter (22%) of employers expect to add staff in Q2 - up three percentage points from Q1 - and another 73% anticipate their headcount will remain consistent.

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