Manpower: Q1 '05 Job Outlook Looking Up

December 14, 2004 ( - US and Canada employers are anticipating the strongest first-quarter outlooks in four years in 2005, according to a new survey.

A news release said the global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey found that employers across the Americas indicate that the solid hiring levels seen at the close of 2004 will continue into the first quarter of 2005, with US employers the most optimistic. When seasonal variations are removed from the American data, the job outlook for nearly all industry sectors are at, or slightly above, the levels reported in the previous quarter.

Elsewhere in the Americas, Mexican employers expect to hire at a slower pace in the first quarter than they did at the close of 2004. However, hiring intentions are expected to be comparable to last year at this time. Employers are most optimistic about hiring in the Transport and Communication sector. Canadian employers in the Mining sector reported the most optimistic outlook, while Manufacturing-Durable Goods and Education employers reported the weakest hiring intentions for the upcoming quarter

At the same time, employers in 17 of 19 countries and territories surveyed reported that they expect positive hiring activity in the coming quarter. Based on seasonally adjusted data, 12 countries are reporting stronger hiring levels compared to last year at this time.

In Europe, hiring intentions are decidedly mixed, with employers in Ireland, the UK and Norway anticipating the most buoyant labor market activity, according to the Manpower announcement. When the data is seasonally adjusted, UK employers are the most optimistic in the region. The Net Employment Outlooks were weaker in six of 11 countries in Europe on a year-on-year basis and weaker in seven countries on a quarter-on-quarter basis. For the second consecutive quarter, the only countries in the survey with negative outlooks were Italy and Germany.

However, the employment outlook is decidedly more optimistic in Asia Pacific, where employers anticipate the continuation of healthy hiring , with all countries reporting improved outlooks over a year ago. Employers are most optimistic about hiring in New Zealand and Hong Kong and most gloomy in Singapore. The labor market in Hong Kong continues to improve, now showing a growth trend over six consecutive quarters. In Japan, employers reported a considerably stronger outlook compared to last year at this time.

The survey is at .