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ManpowerGroup CEO: What’s Next for the Job Market

Wall Street Journal (06/18/13) Lauren Weber

Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and chief executive of ManpowerGroup, says the tepid economy means companies that have turned to temporary workers are not yet converting them to permanent workers in large numbers. He says about 30% of temporary workers are receiving client job offers while on assignment, down from 60% to 70% in a healthier economy. Joerres believes the job market will begin to pick up steam once the impact of federal health care reform becomes clear and Europe’s financial situation improves, which likely will not happen for a couple of years.

He adds that staffing firms have adapted to changes in the workplace by offering recruitment, information technology contracting, outplacement, coaching, training, and talent management services. However, as companies increasingly rely on temporary workers, Joerres says workers must learn to adapt. He says those who keep their skills fresh fare well, but those who want to stay in the same job and not broaden their horizons are more likely to become part of the long-term unemployed.

Joerres says the Affordable Care Act is “incrementally positive for us. It’s not a game changer, because 100% of the cost is going to get passed through to clients. They’re not laying off permanent people and moving that work to us to avoid paying workers’ insurance. But I see this business coming to us when customers have their own internal temporary staff, seasonal workers, internship programs, and they don’t want to deal with the issues of who’s eligible, who’s not, and other liabilities.”