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World – Hiring intentions vary around the world, EMEA outlook modest while APAC is mostly optimistic

10 September 2019

Employers worldwide report mixed hiring intentions with softer employment outlooks predicted in many markets for the fourth quarter, according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

The global survey of 60,000 employers in 44 countries reported outlooks strengthening quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year in 15 countries, remaining flat in 6 and weakening in 23 countries.

The most optimistic outlooks were reported in Japan (+26%), Taiwan (+21%) and the U.S. (+20%) and the weakest employment outlooks were reported by employers in Spain (0%) and the Czech Republic (+2%).

Within EMEA, the strongest Q4 Outlooks are reported in Greece (+18%), Slovenia (+17%), Norway and Sweden (10%), with hiring plans in most of the region's large economies remaining modest yet stable.

Employers in all EMEA countries report positive Q4 Outlooks apart from Spain which is flat (0%). In a comparison with the previous quarter, hiring plans strengthen in ten countries but weaken in 12. When compared with last year, outlooks improve in eight countries, but declined in 14.

In the UK employers report improved intentions year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter with an outlook of +5%. The UK is the only major EMEA economy to predict a year-over-year hiring increase across the Financial & Business Services sector, despite suggestions of financial services firms contemplating relocation after Brexit.

Employers in France report a hiring Outlook of +6% up year-over-year and quarter-over-quarter driven by improvements in many sectors. In Germany employers report a stable employment Outlook of +6% up 1% quarter-over-quarter, yet down year-over-year.

In Asia Pacific, hiring intentions in Japan (+26%) are the most positive in the region for the sixth consecutive quarter, while Chinese employers report weakened outlooks both year-over year (3%) and quarter-over-quarter (4%).

Workforce gains are expected in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories during the October to December 2019 period. When compared with the previous quarter, hiring opportunities strengthen in three countries and territories, but weaken in four. In a comparison with the final quarter of 2018, employers report stronger hiring plans in two countries and territories, but hiring prospects decline in four.

In the Americas, employers in all ten countries in the region expect to increase their headcount with the US now reporting the strongest outlook in the region for two years in a row.

"Hiring plans for the next three months vary significantly globally with robust outlooks reported in many large markets while the uncertainty of Brexit and the impacts of tariffs contribute to evidence of softer hiring intentions elsewhere," Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO, said. "We are continuing to see employers planning to hire for technical and soft skills and committing to invest in their people with upskilling programs. Having a workforce strategy that attracts and retains critical talent and develops new skills will be a key priority across all organizations as industries continue to transform in the months and years ahead."

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