Economy Still Weighing on U.S. Hiring Plans

September 7, 2010 ( – U.S. companies report plans for a “cautiously optimistic hiring pace” for the fourth quarter of 2010, with continuing economic concerns taking their toll.

The U.S. showed the weakest outlook across the 10 countries surveyed in the Americas region, with hiring plans relatively stable from three months ago but notably stronger than those reported a year ago, according to the latest quarterly Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Meanwhile, a Manpower news release said, hiring expectations in emerging markets including China, Taiwan, India and Brazil continue to outpace the rest of the world.  Employer hiring confidence in European countries is mixed with positive job prospects reported in Germany for the quarter ahead.

The Manpower data showed employers in 28 of 36 countries and territories expect positive hiring activity in the fourth quarter, with those in five countries reporting negative hiring expectations. That is an improvement in comparison to the 12 countries reporting negative outlooks 12 months ago.

Globally, employers in 32 countries and territories are reporting stronger year-over-year outlooks, with those in China, Taiwan, India and Brazil indicating the strongest fourth-quarter job prospects. Forecasts from Chinese, Swiss and Taiwanese employers are the most optimistic since Manpower began polling there. The weakest hiring plans for the upcoming quarter are reported in Greece, Italy, the Czech Republic, Spain and Ireland.

“We’re seeing a multi-speed recovery in the global labor market with talent demand in high gear in many of the emerging markets we survey. Other markets, such as the U.S. and Japan, are still moving forward but can’t seem to get out of first gear,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc., in the news release. “Employers in many markets continue to struggle with inconsistent demand for their products and services making it difficult to anticipate staff needs. As a result, a flexible workforce strategy will be critical during this point of the recovery cycle.”

Similar to the third quarter, fourth-quarter hiring expectations remain mixed in the 18 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, according to Manpower. Employers are reporting positive Net Employment Outlooks in 10 countries, but those in 11 countries expect the pace of hiring to soften from three months ago. However, the year-over-year comparison is more positive with improved Outlooks reported in 15 of 18 countries. Hiring activity in the region is expected to be strongest in Switzerland, Norway and Poland and weakest in Greece and Italy.

Across the Asia Pacific region, year-over-year forecasts improved in each of the eight countries and territories surveyed, with forecasts improving from the third quarter in three countries. Hiring plans in the region are strongest in China, Taiwan and India. Meanwhile, employer hiring plans in Japan are the most conservative in the region, but they are considerably stronger compared to one year ago.

Across the 10 countries surveyed in the Americas region, employers anticipate varying degrees of positive hiring activity. Outlooks improve in six countries from three months ago, but improve in all countries when year-over-year comparisons are made. Regional hiring plans are again strongest in Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica

More information about the Manpower results is at