A message from Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO:

"This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturn," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO.

"As vaccine rollouts gain momentum and lockdown restrictions ease in many markets, we're seeing sharp increases in hiring optimism reported by employers. At the same time, some workers are hesitant to re-engage with employers as factors including health concerns and childcare challenges continue. Continued talent shortages mean many businesses are prioritizing retaining and training workers with the skills they need to succeed as the economic recovery continues."

Read the Report

Key Findings

  • Markets bounce back: The strongest year-on-year improvements are reported in the Netherlands (+41%), India (+40%) and the UK (+39%). 
  • Increasing talent shortage: 69% of employers globally report experiencing some difficulty filling roles due to lack of skilled talent, with the most impacted regions EMEA (73%) and APAC (72%). The Americas report the least difficulty, with 38% stating they are having no difficulty at all. 
  • Employers offering a mix of incentives to fill talent shortages: Most plan to offer greater flexibility, training, and skills development to fill vacancies, though 51% of employers are planning some form of financial offering or incentive to help attract talent, compared to 20% offering non-financial benefits such as increased number of vacation days. 
  • Barriers to upskilling: As more employers’ plan to upskill workers, 78% said something other than money was the biggest barrier preventing them from increasing or scaling upskilling programs in their organization. 
  • Technical skills and career coaching key focuses for HR teams: A quarter of employers plan to invest in accelerated upskilling in technical skills for employees, and 21% plan to employ career coaching programs in the next six months to help fill the widening talent shortage.


ManpowerGroup interviewed almost 45,000 employers in 43 countries and territories on hiring intentions for the fourth quarter of 2021. Download our press release as well as report to learn more about the survey results and take a deeper dive into global trends and key findings.

Press Release

September 14, 2021

Hiring optimism in a quarter of markets is at a 10+ year record high, with employers in all 43 countries reporting stronger hiring outlooks compared with this time in 2020, according to the latest ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 45,000 employers.

read more 


We are experiencing the biggest workforce shift and reallocation of skills since World War II – even those skills most in-demand in the early phase of the crisis are different to those emerging now and expected in the future. Learn about the hiring plans, optimism and concerns reported by employers for Q4 2021.

download the report 

More Ways to View the Net Employment Outlook (NEO) Data Across 43 Countries

ManpowerGroup combines internal expertise and market-leading research with deep industry knowledge to help organizations succeed in a rapidly changing world or work.

Net Employment Outlook

* Unadjusted Data



Asia Pacific

Graph: Easily explore long-term patterns in the labor market by using the left-side menu to select a country and view historical data across countries, regions, and industries.

Global Map: Quickly identify the expected net hiring rate for the coming quarter by clicking on a specific country.

Find The Talent and Solutions You Need

To discuss the results personally or explore how ManpowerGroup can help you find the talent and solutions needed to propel your organization forward, contact us today.

Read the Report

Related Content

ManpowerGroup combines internal expertise and market-leading research with deep industry knowledge to help organizations succeed in a rapidly changing world or work.

About the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey

What is the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey?

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the upcoming quarter. It is the most extensive forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size, scope and longevity. The Survey has been running since 1962 and is one of the most trusted indicators of labor market trends in the world.

What questions do you ask in the survey?

All the data in the survey is based on the answer to one question: How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the coming three months as compared to the current quarter?

In addition to the main employment question, the survey asks up to six additional questions which change quarterly. These questions reflect changing economic or workforce dynamics and trends. Topic areas range from talent shortage to workforce training and development to employee sentiments and well-being.

What is meant by Net Employment Outlook (NEO)?

The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers that expect to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter. A positive Net Employment Outlook figure means that, on balance, there are more employers who expect to add to their headcount in the following three months than those who intend to reduce staff.

Does the survey provide data on planned employment changes?

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey only measures if employers expect to hire or not and does not provide information about specific job changes. The Survey is a forecast, not a commitment, based on informed opinions from employers and hiring managers on what will likely happen in their organization in the following quarter.

How large is the sample worldwide?

The Q4 2021 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with nearly 45,000 public and private employers in 43 countries and territories.

How are companies selected for the survey?

Employers are selected based on the types of companies and organizations they represent. We want to ensure that our panel is representative of each participating country’s national labor market, so each country’s panel is built in proportion to that country’s overall distribution of industry sectors and organization sizes. 

Who do you interview in each company?

The person we select to interview will be someone with a good overview of staffing levels and hiring intentions within their organization. Normally this will be the head of HR or an HR manager. However, in smaller organizations, that person may be a general manager or even the CEO. 

Who conducts the research?

Infocorp, Ltd. is our lead research partner who analyzes data for all 43 countries and territories to ensure consistency. Infocorp also conducted the survey in 29 of the participating countries and territories. Reputation Leaders conducted the survey in the remaining 14 countries.

Can you explain the Margin of Error calculation?

By their very nature, surveys are imperfect measures. All surveys have a margin of error, which is largely determined by the number of interviews completed. For the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, the minimum panel size in each country and territory is 620 to ensure a margin of error no greater than +/-3.9%. This prevents undue distortion of the data because of one respondent changing their response from one quarter to the next. No single panel member represents more than 2% of the total sample in an industry sector or region.

Why do you seasonally adjust the data?

Seasonal adjustment is a statistical process that allows the Survey data to be presented without the impact of hiring fluctuations that normally occur through the course of the year, usually as a result of various external factors, such changes in weather, traditional production cycles and public holidays. Seasonal adjustment has the effect of flattening peaks and smoothing troughs in the data to better illustrate underlying employment trends and provide a more accurate representation of the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey results.

How do you know if hiring intentions reported come to fruition?

ManpowerGroup does not track retrospective hiring trends as part of the Employment Outlook Survey, only forward-looking expectations. However, we are able to see that the Survey results do align with employment trends reported by governments and other organizations quite closely and provide one of the most robust and trusted indicators of forward-looking labor market trends in the world.

What is the best way to analyze the results? Is it better to look at quarter-over-quarter or year-over-year comparisons?

There are several ways to review the results, which are reported for 43 countries and territories, and specific industries and regions within each. The current results, including the Net Employment Outlook, provides a snapshot of employers’ expectations for the coming three months. Comparing this result to the previous quarter provides a short-term perspective of hiring expectations in a particular country or sector, while comparing to the previous year gives a longer-term view on employer intentions. The Employment Outlook Survey Data Explorer (above) is a helpful tool to explore these trends over a ten-year period and compare regions, countries and industry sectors.