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Manpower Employment Outlook Survey

ManpowerGroup News Release (09/11/12)

According to seasonally adjusted survey results, ManpowerGroup’s Net Employment Outlook for the fourth quarter of 2012 is +11%, unchanged from the third quarter of 2012 and slightly elevated from +8% during the same period last year. The fourth quarter 2012 net employment outlook of +11% is the strongest fourth quarter data collected since 2007. According to seasonally adjusted data, hiring intentions have grown increasingly confident throughout the last three years with no declines in the net employment outlook quarter-over-quarter. The continued climb in confidence marks three years of gradually improving hiring intentions, which were preceded by three quarters of pessimistic employment plans. Hiring intentions continue to climb with employers in 49 out of 50 states reporting positive hiring intentions. Similarly, employers in 99 out of the 100 largest metropolitan statistical areas report positive hiring intentions to close out the year.

“Despite tumultuous global economies, election uncertainty, record heat waves, health care reform, and other challenges, employers indicate that steady but cautious hiring progress will continue through the end of the year,” says Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president of the Americas. “Employers have shown remarkable consistency in their careful approach to staff growth. The data shows that companies are very cautious about adding staff, but still have the intention to increase their work forces into the fourth quarter.”

Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed, 17% anticipate an increase in staff levels in their fourth-quarter 2012 hiring plans, while 9% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a net employment outlook of +8%. Once seasonal variations are removed from the data, the net employment outlook becomes +11%. Seventy-two percent of employers expect no change in their hiring plans. The final 2% of employers indicate they are undecided about their hiring intentions.