Employment prospects were bright in the Asia Pacific region for the first quarter of 2006 as well as in North America, but it was expected to be an up and down three months for most of Europe, according to news reports on June 29 this year.
This was the conclusion bared by Manpower Inc. following a survey of 23 countries in different continents. The Employment Outlook survey covered 45,000 employers. Overall, it reported that employers in nine or 23 countries and territories were expected to add to their workforces in the first quarter of 2006. On the other hand, it also said that 11 of the 23 countries and territories reported weaker employment prospects compared to the same period in 2005.
The strongest hiring expectations were reported by employers in India, New Zealand, Taiwan, the United States and Australia. In contrast, employers in 14 countries, mostly in Europe, reported weaker employment prospects. The weakest hiring prospects were reported by employers in Germany, Austria and Italy.
In Austria, employers reported a negative Net Employment Outlook (NEO) for the first time since the first quarter of 2004, while employers in Italy have not been this pessimistic since the survey started in that country in the third quarter of 2003. The study conducted over 11,000 interviews across 12 European labor markets to measure anticipated employment trends for the first quarter of 2006.
The survey revealed continued buoyant hiring activity in the USA and Canada.
Meanwhile, in Asia Pacific, employment prospects were positive in all countries that were covered by the survey, which included interviews with 3,000 employers in the region. Australia, China, Hong Kong, Japan, New Zealand and Taiwan all reported improved NEOs compared to the last quarter of 2005.
Interestingly, Australian and Japanese employers reported their most optimistic first quarter NEOs since 2003 when the survey began. Positive hiring intentions were reported by the USA, Canada and Mexico.
American employers were optimistic and reported the same NEO as in the fourth quarter of 2005. The same cannot be said for Canada which reported slightly weaker hiring expectations but still favorable. Mexico was hopeful of starting the year off on the right foot and reported the most positive first quarter NEO since the third quarter of 2002 when the survey began in that country.
An updated Manpower Employment Outlook survey covering only the US market said that of the 16,000 U.S. employers surveyed, 30 percent foresaw an increase in hiring activity for the second quarter of 2006, while 6 percent expected a reduction in payrolls. Fifty-eight percent reported no change in hiring plans, and 6 percent had yet to determine their staffing needs. The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook for April to June was 21 percent.
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