SOURCE: Manpower Inc.

June 12, 2007 00:01 ET

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Reveals Continued Caution in U.S. Hiring Plans for Summer Months of 2007

MILWAUKEE, WI--(Marketwire - June 12, 2007) - U.S. employers plan to maintain a cautious approach toward hiring during the third quarter of 2007, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey conducted quarterly by Manpower Inc.

"The survey suggests that it will be a cool summer when it comes to hiring in the U.S.," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, Chairman & CEO of Manpower Inc. "Employers are holding steady with their employment projections for the third quarter and taking a wait-and-see approach as they begin to look toward year-end."

Of the 14,000 U.S. Employers surveyed, 29% expect to increase their workforces during the third quarter of 2007, while 7% expect to trim their payrolls. Fifty-eight percent expect no change in the hiring pace, and 6% are undecided about their hiring plans.

The seasonally adjusted survey results show that hiring activity in nearly all industry sectors surveyed is expected to remain steady during the summer months of 2007. Employers in Construction, Durable and Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation/Public Utilities, Finance and Services all foresee a hiring climate that is unchanged from the second quarter forecast, while Mining, Wholesale/Retail Trade and Public Administration employers anticipate a slight decrease in the hiring pace. Despite the decline in Mining, employers in this industry sector have the most optimistic staffing plans for the upcoming quarter.

"In general, employer optimism about hiring is expected to hold firm in the third quarter across most industry sectors," said Jonas Prising, President of Manpower North America. "However, employers in select industries are losing confidence about adding employees including those in the Construction, Wholesale/Retail Trade and Finance/Insurance/Real Estate sectors. The third-quarter hiring projections are a sign that the moderate decline in these industry sectors is likely to continue through the next three months."

Within the four U.S. regions surveyed, job prospects are strongest in the West. Employers in the Northeast continue to be the least optimistic about hiring -- most notably in the Non-Durable Goods Manufacturing sector, where there is a significant weakening in job prospects. A quarter-over-quarter analysis indicates that employers in the West are more optimistic about hiring for the third quarter, while those in the Midwest and South expect little change in their staffing plans. In the Northeast, companies are slightly less likely to increase headcount compared with second quarter.

In addition to the United States, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted in 26 other countries and territories. The quarterly report from Manpower Inc. is the most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, gathering data from nearly 50,000 employers across the globe each quarter.

Among global employers, third quarter hiring is expected to be positive in all of the 27 countries and territories surveyed, with employers in Germany and Norway reporting their most optimistic hiring plans since the survey began in these countries in 2003, based on seasonally adjusted data. Meanwhile, the Asia Pacific labor market is expected to cool from three months ago, with the exception of India, where employer demand has bounced back after a dip reported in the second quarter.

The strongest third quarter hiring prospects reported globally were in Singapore, Peru, India, Argentina, New Zealand, Australia, Norway, Costa Rica, Japan and Hong Kong. Conversely, employers in Italy, Belgium and France expect to offer the fewest employment opportunities. Compared with second quarter, employers in 15 countries and territories are reporting weaker hiring plans for the July through September period. A more positive story emerges in the year-over-year comparison, where 14 countries report improved hiring plans.

In the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region, job prospects are strongest in Norway, South Africa, the UK, Germany, Sweden and Switzerland, with eight European countries expecting to increase the hiring pace from a year ago. Italian employers reported the weakest, but still positive, hiring expectations in the region. However, Irish employers expect to slow hiring considerably from the second quarter and last year.

Of the six countries surveyed in the Americas, employers in Peru and Argentina are again the most optimistic about adding to their workforces, with Peruvian employers expecting a considerable increase in hiring compared to third quarter of 2006. The hiring pace is expected to be slightly weaker from one year ago in Canada, Costa Rica and the U.S.

Employer hiring projections for the eight countries and territories surveyed across the Asia Pacific region are weaker when compared to the second quarter (but still positive), with the exception of India. The strongest outlooks were reported in Singapore, India, New Zealand and Australia. Employers in Taiwan expect to offer the fewest employment opportunities.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey will be released on September 11, 2007, to report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2007.

Note to Editors

All comments are based on seasonally adjusted data where available. The region reported in the past as "Europe" has been changed to "Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA)" to include results from South Africa, which joined the survey program in the 4th quarter of 2006.

Graphical illustrations and full survey results for each U.S. region and industry sector can be found in the Manpower Employment Outlook survey report. The report can be accessed in the Manpower Press Room at www.manpower.com/meos. Here you will also find results of the surveys conducted in the other 26 countries. All graphs from the full report are available to download for use in publication or broadcast from the Manpower Online Visual Library, also located in the Press Room on http://www.manpower.com/library.

Manpower Employment Outlook Survey data is available for more than 460 U.S. markets across the country. Local findings can be obtained by contacting Bethany Perkins at 414.906.6253 or meos@na.manpower.com.

About the Survey

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers' intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size, scope, longevity and area of focus. The Survey has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with nearly 52,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 27 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The program began in the United States and Canada in 1962, and the United Kingdom was added in 1966. Mexico and Ireland launched the survey in 2002, and 13 additional countries were added to the program in 2003. New Zealand joined the program in 2004, China, India, Switzerland and Taiwan were added in 2005, and Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and South Africa joined in 2006. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at www.manpower.com and enter the Research Center.

About Manpower Inc.

Manpower Inc. is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work. The $18 billion company offers employers a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower's worldwide network of 4,400 offices in 73 countries and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world's largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower's work is on raising productivity through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction across their total workforce, enabling clients to concentrate on their core business activities. Manpower Inc. operated under five brands: Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management. More information on Manpower Inc. is available at www.us.manpower.com.

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