U.S. Hiring Outlook Conservative for Fourth Quarter

September 11, 2007 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - U.S. employers plan to maintain a stable, yet cautious approach toward hiring in the final quarter of 2007, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Of the 14,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 27% said they expect to increase their workforce during the fourth quarter of 2007, while 9% expect to decrease their workforce, Manpower said in a news release. Fifty-eight percent said they expect no change in the hiring pace and 6% are undecided about their hiring plans.

The survey results show hiring is expected to remain steady in the majority of industry sectors. Employers in Construction, Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale/Retail Trade, Finance/Insurance/Real Estate, Education and Services indicated a fourth quarter hiring climate that is relatively unchanged from the third quarter.

Employers in Mining and Transportation/Public Utilities said they anticipate a slight downturn in hiring pace, while employers in the Public Administration sector said they foresee improved job prospects compared to the previous quarter, the release said.

By region, job prospects are expected to be most positive in the West and weakest in the Northeast for the second consecutive quarter.

Globally, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey conducted in 26 other countries and territories besides the U.S. found the strongest fourth quarter hiring prospects were in Peru, India, Singapore, Costa Rica, Argentina, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Hong Kong. Italian employers again reported the least robust hiring plans globally.

Employers in 11 countries and territories are reporting improved hiring plans compared to the third quarter, while job prospects are expected to improve in 14 countries on a year-over-year basis.

In the Americas, employers in Peru, Costa Rica and Argentina are most optimistic about hiring in the fourth quarter. Mexican employers also report strong hiring expectations, while the pace of hiring in Canada is expected to remain stable from the third quarter to the fourth.

Complete results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are here .