World Economy

World jobs outlook seen weakening in Q3: Manpower


Most employers across the globe forecast they'll hire fewer people in the third quarter of this year, a survey from employment consultancy Manpower has found.

A job seeker fills out an application during a career fair at the Southeast Community Facility Commission on May 21, 2014 in San Francisco.
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The multinational company surveyed 65,000 employers over the phone across 42 countries and territories. It found that hiring intentions strengthened in 11 countries quarter-on-quarter, but weakened in 24.

The most positive employers were predominately in Turkey and Asia-Pacific, specifically India, Taiwan, New Zealand and Singapore.

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Employers in the euro zone were the most negative, particularly in Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. These were the only countries to predict a fall in staff hiring, rather than just a decline in the volume of hiring.

However other countries on the euro zone's "periphery", which are starting to recover from recession, multibillion-dollar bailouts and austerity, were more optimistic.

"Hiring plans remain positive in Greece, Ireland and Spain, continuing a pattern that suggests employer confidence is stabilizing in the wake of a prolonged period of pessimistic, post-recession forecasts," said Manpower analysts in a report based on the survey.

"However, weak hiring plans continue to challenge job seekers in Italy, while the forecasts in both Belgium and the Netherlands turn slightly negative once again."

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The latest official euro zone estimate showed that 11.7 percent of citizens were unemployed in April, narrowly down from 11.8 percent in March 2014 and 12.0 percent in April 2013.

Despite the overall downward trend, each of Italy, Belgium, France and the Netherlands found unemployment rose year-on-year in April. Netherlands saw the biggest increase, with unemployment at 7.2 percent, up from 6.5 percent in April 2013.

In comparison, U.S. unemployment stabilized at 6.3 percent in April and May this year.

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Manpower's survey—which has been running for over 50 years and is a trusted indicator of employment activity-- found that U.S. employer optimism had reached its strongest in over six years.

"Employers in the leisure and hospitality sector expect the most active hiring pace, while opportunities for job-seekers may also pick up slightly in the education and health services sector and the professional and business services sector," analysts wrote.

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In January, the International Labour Organization warned of a "jobless recovery" from the global financial crisis of 2007/08. It forecast over 215 million world citizens would be unemployed by 2018, up from 202 million in 2013.

However, the International Monetary Fund was more upbeat in a more recent report in April. It said that world economic activity had "broadly strengthened" and was expected to improve further in 2014-15.