Employers optimistic about global job prospects

Jun 14 2005 by Brian Amble Print This Article

Employers across the world report varying degrees of optimism about their jobs markets this summer, with India the most optimistic and employers in Switzerland reporting the weakest hiring expectations.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey has found that 22 of the 23 countries surveyed anticipate positive Net Employment Outlooks for the three months ahead.

A 'Net Employment Outlook' is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff. A positive result indicates that more employers plan to increase rather than decrease staffing levels; a negative result reflects the opposite.

Employers in India (+34 per cent), Taiwan (+24 per cent) and New Zealand (+23 per cent) report the most buoyant forecasts.

India's strong showing is largely fuelled by the vigorous hiring occurring in its Services sector.

The figure for New Zealand hides a decrease in hiring intentions of 7 percentage points quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year.

The seasonally- adjusted figure for the USA is 21 per cent, identical to the second quarter and similar to a year ago.

According to Manpowers CEO, Jeffrey A. Joerres, the figures suggest that U.S. employers are hiring on an as-needed basis, but are still not ready to staff up until demand for their business truly requires it.

Elsewhere, the strongest hiring intentions in Europe are reported in Ireland (+20 per cent), Norway (+17 per cent) and UK (+12 per cent). In contrast, hiring is expected to be less robust in Italy (+3 per cent), the Netherlands (+3 per cent), France (+4 per cent) and Germany (+4 per cent).

According to the survey, the picture in Germany is better than it might seem at first sight, with employer optimism in seven of nine German industry sectors at an all-time survey high.

But employers in Switzerland are the most pessimistic of all those surveyed, expecting the country's job market to stagnate throughout the summer.

In the UK, optimism is led by the Finance & Business Services sector as well as from employers in the Construction sector. At the same time, the Hotel & Retail sectors are notably more cautious about their hiring intentions.

Closer examination of the data shows caution on the high street, with UK retailers reporting an Outlook of -6 per cent - a year-on-year decrease of 13 percentage points.