Manpower Sees Flat Employment in 2009

Dec 9, 2008

Flat like the tumbleweeds.

That’s the expected employment outlook for January, February, and March, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Among U.S. employers surveyed, 16% foresee an increase in hiring activity, and 13% expect a decline in staff levels during Q1 2009. Sixty-seven percent anticipate no change in the hiring pace, while 5% are undecided about their January–March hiring plans.

For Q1 2009, Mining and Professional & Business Services employers have the most promising hiring outlook in the United States.

Overall, hiring is set to slow further, most notably in Singapore, India, and Taiwan. Employers in 30 countries — out of 33 total countries surveyed — say they will slow the pace of hiring from three months ago, the report shows. Year-over-year hiring forecasts are also weaker in 25 countries and territories, with employers in 21 countries admitting to the weakest hiring plans since the survey began in their countries.

“The vast majority of employers are telling us that they will take a ‘wait and see’ approach before hiring or further reducing staff. Unless they see more positive economic signals they will not add employees and, until then, it will be a rougher road for job seekers,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower.

“Interestingly, the number of U.S. companies planning no change in their hiring intentions is considerably higher than during the 2001 recession. This may suggest a much-needed pause in downsizing in the first quarter,” he said.

One of the several comments to a recent article on MarketWatch says, “Hiring outlook is flat. Firing outlook is skyrocketing.”

Do you agree? Tell us what do you think.

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