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Analysis: Amid Jobs Gains, Worries Persist Over Europe

Reuters (01/06/12) Zieminski, Nick

The stronger-than-expected December U.S. jobs growth figures on Jan. 6 draws a sharp contrast with European numbers, but executives in the temporary staffing and employment services field say anxiety about a likely recession in Europe keeps cropping up in conversations with clients and, in some cases, is putting hiring plans on hold. Faced with falling sales and profits in Europe, multinational clients may look for offsetting savings in other markets, including the U.S., analysts warn.

Randstad Holding NV’s recruitment outsourcing business, SourceRight Solutions, which handles large-scale hiring of as many as 500 people at a time, says it has a banking client that tentatively plans aggressive expansion in 2012. However, “there’s still caution around Europe and how they could impact the U.S.,” says Joanie Ruge, Randstad senior vice president and chief employment analyst. “That is (clients’) biggest concern right now, though they seem optimistic about all the economic indicators in the U.S. moving in the right direction.”