Manpower: Employment Outlook Survey projects a weak hiring pace for Q4 2009

Majority of Employers Plan to Maintain Staff Levels Through Year-End

MILWAUKEE, Sept 08, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX News Network/ — U.S. employers plan to keep their staffing levels relatively stable during Quarter 4 2009, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.

“The hiring intentions of U.S. companies continue to be sluggish,” said Manpower Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeff Joerres. “While there are areas within the U.S. which are showing an uptick, we have yet to see the robust hiring intentions that would indicate a full labor market recovery.”

Of the more than 28,000 employers surveyed, a significant 69% expect no change in their October – December hiring plans. Twelve percent anticipate an increase in staff levels, while 14% expect a decrease in payrolls, resulting in a Net Employment Outlook of -2%. After seasonal adjustment, the Net Employment Outlook becomes -3%, the weakest in the history of the survey, which began in 1962. The final 5% of employers indicated they were undecided about their hiring intentions.

“Despite some moderating signs, such as the considerable number of employers that plan to maintain or increase staff levels, there will continue to be challenges for both job seekers and employers in the coming months,” said Jonas Prising, Manpower president of the Americas. “Hiring in the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector, for instance, is expected to be down in the fourth quarter, suggesting that employers will not be adding the quantity of holiday hires they have in the past.”

The national survey data shows employers in the Mining, Information, Financial Activities and Other Services industry sectors expect hiring to remain relatively stable in Quarter 4 2009 when compared to Quarter 3 2009. Employers in the Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail Trade and Government sectors anticipate a slight decrease in hiring levels. Transportation & Utilities and Professional & Business Services employers predict a moderate decrease, while those in the Construction and Leisure & Hospitality sectors indicate considerably weaker hiring plans when compared to Quarter 3 2009. Education & Health Services employers anticipate a modest increase in hiring activity for Quarter 4 2009.

All of the survey regions have considerably weaker employment outlooks compared to one year ago at this time. In comparison to the third quarter, the seasonally adjusted data reveals the Northeast has the weakest Outlook, the West and Midwest are relatively stable, and the South shows a slight increase in employer optimism.

About the Survey

Employment services company Manpower Inc. releases the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in size, scope, longevity and area of focus.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey’s United States results are based on interviews with more than 28,000 employers located within 200 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs), as defined by the federal government, and one MSA in Puerto Rico. The mix of U.S. industries within the survey follows the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Supersectors and is structured to be representative of the U.S. economy. The national survey carries a margin of error of +/- .49%.

The complete results and visuals from the U.S. national Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are available for download at, where you will also find the survey results for the 201 MSAs.