Manpower Employment Outlook Survey Indicates U.S. Hiring Pace is Still Sluggish

Data suggests employment downturn may level off during Q3 2009

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Milwaukee — June 9, 2009 — U.S. employers plan to keep their staffing levels relatively stable during the third quarter of 2009, according to the seasonally adjusted results of the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, conducted quarterly by employment services company Manpower Inc.

Based on additional data, the outlook for the second quarter of 2009 was revised to -2 percent, the same as Q3, to account for seasonal variations, according to Manpower, which releases the survey quarterly to measure employers' intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter.

"When we account for ongoing calibration of the data, employer attitudes about hiring remain essentially unchanged compared to the previous quarter," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chairman and CEO of Manpower. "While the numbers may not be as optimistic as we would like, it is positive to see no further deterioration."

More than 28,000 employers were surveyed about their hiring plans for Q4. Fifteen percent anticipate an increase in their staff levels, while 13 percent expect a decrease in their payrolls. Sixty-seven percent of employers surveyed expect no change in their July-September hiring plans, and 5 percent of employers indicated they were undecided about their hiring intentions.

"The data show continued hesitancy among employers," said Jonas Prising, president of the Americas for Manpower. "They are treading slowly and watching with guarded optimism, hoping a few quarters of stability will be the precursor to the recovery."

The national survey data show employers in seven of the 13 sectors surveyed expect hiring to remain relatively stable in Q3 as compared to Q2. Employers in construction and the wholesale and retail trade sectors anticipate moderate increases, while employers in non-durable goods manufacturing and the leisure and hospitality sector expect a slight increase in hiring activity compared to the second quarter.

Employers in two sectors surveyed, government and the education and health services sector, anticipate a slight decrease in hiring compared to three months ago. Employers in durable goods manufacturing; transportation and utilities; information; financial activities; professional and business services; and other services sector employers will keep hiring levels relatively stable for the third quarter.

The West has a weaker outlook compared to Q2, while all regions have a weaker outlook compared to one year ago at this time. Employer optimism about hiring is relatively stable in the South, Northeast and Midwest.

The research is drawn from employers located in 200 "metropolitan statistical areas" (MSAs) in the U.S. and one MSA in Puerto Rico. The 13 industries in the survey follow the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS), with durable and nondurable goods manufacturing reported separately. The sample size has been increased to more than 28,000 employers from a previously collected 14,000. The national survey carries a margin of error of +/- .49 percent.

The complete results and visuals from the U.S. National Manpower Employment Outlook Survey are available for viewing and downloading at