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UK employers’ hiring prospects at lowest level since 1992

COVID-19 has led employers across the world to report hiring intention declines in Q3, according to ManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey, which surveys 38,000 employers across 43 countries.

All 43 countries have reported weaker hiring intentions than at this time last year, with 27 markets seeing a dip to a 20 year low. Despite this, however, 54% of employers expect to hiring to return to pre-COVID-19 levels by April 2021. 

"These results show the impact the health crisis has had on hiring plans as COVID-19 moved in waves across the globe," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO. "The significant declines across many countries reflect the unprecedented speed and magnitude of shutdown, which resulted in an almost total activity freeze across many industries. Typically, structural labor market changes take months if not years to impact. We believe this crisis will accelerate transformation that we have been tracking and predicting for some time. Employers will continue to require increasingly specific technical and soft skills, digitization will accelerate, and individuals will demand a way of working that is closer to what they have wanted all along – more inclusive, more flexible and more wellbeing-oriented than we could ever have imagined."

In EMEA, UK employers’ hiring prospects were the weakest they’ve been since the survey began in 1992, down 17 percentage points. France reported its weakest outlook in 17 years while for Italy it was its weakest outlook in six years. Germany’s outlook was at an 11 year low.

In the Americas, the US’s outlook was the lowest it has been since 2009 while Mexico’s was the weakest it had bene in 18 years. Argentina reported the weakest outlook in 13 years.

In Singapore, employers’ outlook was the weakest it had been in 11 years and in India, it was the lowest it had been for 17 years. Australia’s outlook also hit a 17 year low.

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