U.S. hiring outlook dips slightly – Manpower

* Emerging markets continue to lead global labor markets

* U.S employment outlook down slightly

* Hiring intentions flat or down in 22 of 36 countries

By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK, Sept 7 (BestGrowthStock) – Job prospects have improved
dramatically in emerging markets like China compared with three
months ago, but the fourth-quarter hiring outlook dipped
slightly in the United States and Germany, according to a
quarterly survey by Manpower Inc (MAN.N: ).

The reading — which subtracts employers who plan to cut
jobs from those who plan to add them — is above levels of a
year ago when more employers expected staff cuts, but it
reflects continued caution among U.S. employers.

In the United States, the net employment outlook was a
seasonally adjusted plus-5, down slightly from plus-6 last
quarter.

Manpower’s survey, a leading indicator of labor demand,
shows global employers remain wary about expanding staff even
as their own business prospects improve and suggests it is too
soon to rule out a double-dip recession. Developed countries
increasingly stand in contrast to emerging economies, where
jobs prospects are at peak levels.

“Emerging markets are the ones leading the global labor
market recovery,” said Jeff Joerres, chief executive of the
global employment services company. “They’re a bit of an
island.”

Globally, the net employment outlook was highest in China,
followed by Taiwan and India.

At a seasonally adjusted 47, China’s outlook for the coming
quarter is up 16 points from the third-quarter survey and up
from 8 a year earlier. That strength partly reflects more
domestic demand within China’s economy (Read more about the fastest growing economy.) rather than export-led
growth, Manpower said.

Hong Kong, Argentina, Ireland, Canada and Mexico were among
the 14 economies where hiring prospects have improved since the
third-quarter survey. However, prospects were flat or weaker in
22 countries and territories.

All but three countries — notably Greece, with its debt
crisis — showed stronger expectations versus a year ago.

Manpower’s global survey is based on 62,000 interviews with
human resources directors and other managers. Milwaukee,
Wisconsin-based Manpower is active in 82 countries and makes
the bulk of its sales and profit outside the United States.

DOING MORE WITH LESS

In the United States, employers’ caution was underscored by
the number of companies that said they have no plans to change
hiring in either direction: 71 percent said so, up 1 percentage
point from the third quarter.

“There’s a standstill here,” Joerres said. “Companies have
no confidence, and while they have demand, it’s not at such a
robust level that they have to start hiring.”

Manpower conducted interviews with 18,000 U.S. employers
for its survey, which dates back to 1962 and is considered a
predictor of labor trends.

The results come a few days after the U.S. government’s
August employment report showed a smaller-than-expected drop in
non-farm payrolls, with the unemployment rate edging up to 9.6
percent from 9.5 percent. [ID:nN02227856]

Increased hiring is seen in the education and health
services sector while in mining, durable goods manufacturing
and wholesale and retail sales hiring is expected to decrease.

Manpower said a global double-dip recession is still
possible, albeit not likely, given persistent uncertainty over
sovereign debt problems and U.S. real estate and abrupt shifts
in sentiment toward the euro currency.

Its CEO added that the recent speed of financial news
headlines, and resulting shifts in mood, were almost comical,
as years’ worth of market gyrations occur within a few weeks.

“Clients still look at this as a recovery that is occurring
and their businesses are getting better, but the notion of
uncertainty, the ability to forecast, has gone to almost zero
visibility, which will affect hiring dramatically,” Joerres
said.

MIXED PICTURE

In Europe, Swiss employers are the most likely to create
jobs between now and the end of the year, with the highest
survey reading in the paper’s five-year history in that
country, partly reflecting hiring in finance and business
services. The climate for job seekers is also more favorable in
Belgium, Norway and Spain.

Readings in Germany, France, Netherlands and Austria were
down slightly from the previous quarter; Britain’s was
unchanged. Survey readings in Europe tend to move in small
increments partly because employers face greater restrictions.

In Latin America, where Manpower’s survey has a shorter
history and is therefore not seasonally adjusted, the hiring
outlook is strongest in Brazil, Peru and Costa Rica.

Hiring plans are up in Canada, reflecting strength in parts
of the manufacturing economy.

Japan showed no change from the prior quarter, but the
survey reading is well up from last year. Indian job seekers in
areas like public administration and education face “booming”
prospects, Manpower said, even as India’s overall reading was
down modestly.
(Editing by Kenneth Barry)

U.S. hiring outlook dips slightly – Manpower