US hiring outlook healthier than any time since 2008

US hiring outlook healthier than any time since 2008

Cautious optimism over employment prospects in the US and some parts of Europe.

More employers in the United States plan to hire workers in the next quarter than in any period since the fourth quarter of 2008, according to a survey by Manpower Group, the global employment services giant.

Manpower’s quarterly survey, released on Tuesday, found most employers around the globe were uncertain about hiring more workers between July and September, given tepid consumer demand. But there were some bright spots, with employers in the US and some parts of Europe feeling cautiously optimistic.

Manpower, which surveyed 42 economies, found that employers in 31 countries and territories planned to hire in the next quarter. Hiring intentions strengthened in 17 economies, including Spain, Greece and the US, compared with the previous quarter.

Hiring intentions remained unchanged in four economies and weakened in 21, including France, China and India.

The US added 175,000 jobs last month after adding only 149,000 in April, the Labor Department said on Friday. The unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point to 7.6%.

The United States’ net employment outlook ticked forward one point from the previous quarter to a seasonally adjusted plus 12, the report said. The outlook measures the difference between those adding jobs and those cutting jobs. Manpower’s index is a directional indicator rather than a predictor of the size of job gains.

For the second consecutive quarter, employers in all 50 states, Washington, DC, and Puerto Rico reported positive hiring plans, Manpower said.

Manpower’s chief executive, Jeff Joerres, said US companies still had concerns about what would happen next in Europe and China, about healthcare costs and general uncertainty.

“In the past, that would shock the system,” he said. “Today, we’re used to shocks.”

More than one in four employers in the US construction sector said they would hire in the quarter beginning in July, the strongest outlook since before the global recession. That was a positive sign for the housing market, Joerres said.

In Europe, hiring has stalled with growing uncertainties among employers, the report said. But Joerres said the region had had some positive indicators, including in Greece, where the hiring outlook, although still negative, has improved for four consecutive quarters.

“We’re not saying Europe is out of the woods,” Joerres said. “It’s that Europe is still moving and driving towards an overall solution rather than falling off the cliff, and that’s positive for the rest of the world.”

 

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