According to the global Manpower Employment Outlook Survey results released March 9 by Manpower Inc., employers in most major labor markets expect to hire in the second quarter at a pace equal to, or stronger than, the same period last year. However, many have yet to reach a pre-downturn hiring pace. Job prospects in the Asia Pacific region remain strong, with the exception of Japan, and hiring outlooks continue to improve modestly in most of the Americas region. In Europe, hiring patterns remain mixed with employers in eight countries indicating modest improvements compared to three months ago and the same period last year. Employer hiring intentions are strongest in India, Brazil and Taiwan, while in the U.S. they are similar to three months ago, but more optimistic compared to last year at this time.

"We continue to see strong hiring demand across the Asia Pacific region, likely due to their increased domestic demand," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower Inc. "And while hiring intentions improved in the U.S., when you factor in the effects of seasonality, it's very similar to last quarter. This is because unlike previous recessions, companies have become more sophisticated in knowing when they need workers and will no longer hire in anticipation of demand. Instead, companies will continue to push their organizations to do more with less and wait for clear signals of an increase in demand before hiring."

The Manpower survey shows employers in 27 of 36 countries and territories expect some positive hiring activity in the second quarter, while those in eight are reporting negative hiring expectations – an improvement in comparison to the 18 countries and territories reporting negative outlooks last year at this time. Employers in 23 countries and territories are reporting stronger year-over-year outlooks, with those in India, Brazil, Taiwan, Peru, Costa Rica, Australia and Singapore noting the strongest job prospects. Hiring plans are weakest in Italy, Spain and Ireland. Employers in Panama were surveyed for the first time this quarter and report upbeat hiring plans for the next three months.

In the Asia Pacific region, hiring plans are strongest in India and Taiwan, with Taiwanese employers reporting their strongest hiring plans since the Manpower survey began there in 2005. With the exception of Japan, where employers again report the region's only negative Net Employment Outlook, hiring expectations are considerably stronger compared to a year ago in all countries and territories. Job prospects also improve quarter-over-quarter in five countries and territories.

"Manpower India is indicating strong demand in the Telecom sector as new players are entering the market, resulting in wage arbitrage and forcing employers to offer more incentives to retain top talent," said Joerres. "The notable strength in the Taiwan market is being fueled by strong demand in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector, where nearly half of all employers surveyed expect to add staff in the quarter ahead. At the same time, job prospects continue to strengthen in China, particularly in the Services sector where employers are reporting the strongest hiring intentions in nearly three years."

Of the 18 countries surveyed in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, hiring expectations are mixed with employers in 10 countries reporting positive hiring activity for the quarter ahead. Compared to three months ago, hiring plans improved in eight EMEA countries and in eight where year-over-year comparisons can be made. Hiring activity in the region is expected to be strongest in Poland, South Africa, Norway and Sweden and weakest in Italy and Spain.

"We're not yet seeing signs that the European labor market has turned the corner, but the good news is most employers intend to keep hiring at the same pace or above compared to three months ago," said Joerres. "Hiring expectations among Europe's Manufacturing employers have improved in 11 countries from last quarter, most notably in Poland where 25 percent of employers say they will add to their payrolls. Meanwhile, German job seekers can expect fewer opportunities in the quarter ahead, particularly in the Construction sector where 16 percent of employers tell us they will cut staff in the next three months."

Of the 10 countries surveyed in the Americas region, hiring plans are stronger in comparison to one year ago in all countries where year-over-year data is available and stronger in six countries quarter-over-quarter. Regional hiring plans are again strongest in Brazil, Costa Rica and Peru. At the same time, hiring expectations from U.S. employers remain relatively stable from three months ago but are stronger than those reported in the second quarter of 2009.

"The outlook continues to slowly improve in the Americas region. U.S. employers are still hesitant to hire for permanent positions, but for five consecutive months we have seen positive signals in temporary staffing data and that's a good sign that demand is slowly picking up," said Joerres. "Optimism in Brazil is due in part to strength in the Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sector, while the national Outlook in Mexico, where 24 percent of employers say they will hire, is bolstered by demand in the Mining sector."

About the survey
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers' intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size, scope, longevity and area of focus. The Survey has been running for more than 45 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with over 61,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 36 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The program began in the United States and Canada in 1962, and the United Kingdom was added in 1966. Mexico and Ireland launched the survey in 2002, and 13 additional countries were added to the program in 2003. New Zealand joined the program in 2004, China, India, Switzerland and Taiwan were added in 2005, and Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and South Africa joined in 2006. Colombia, the Czech Republic, Greece, Guatemala, Poland and Romania joined in 2008 and Hungary and Brazil were added in 2009. Panama was added in 2010.

About Manpower Inc.
Manpower Inc. is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work. With more than 60 years' experience, Manpower offers employers a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower's worldwide network of nearly 4,000 offices in 82 countries and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world's largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower's work is on raising productivity through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction across their total workforce, enabling clients to concentrate on their core business activities.