A message from Jonas Prising,
ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO:
“The data for Q4 reveals employers continue to plan measured hiring despite economic uncertainties. Globally, employers are beginning to moderate their hiring post-pandemic with many focused-on recruiting and retaining the business-critical skills they need to drive growth.
Those who emphasize upskilling, reskilling, flexibility, and culture will be most competitive in still-tight labor markets. As transformation accelerates - from generative AI to the green transition - investing in people remains key for companies to build resilience and agility moving forward.”
- Employers across all 41 countries report net positive hiring intentions with Outlooks ranging from +11% to 41% for the fourth quarter.
- Overall, the strongest hiring intentions were found in Costa Rica (+41%), Brazil (+38%), and Switzerland (+38%); with employers in Argentina (+11%), the Czech Republic (+11%), and Japan (+11%) reporting the least optimistic Outlooks.
- Businesses in the IT industry continue to report the brightest Outlook (39%), followed by Financials & Real Estate (33%), Communication Services (31%), Health Care & Life Sciences (31%), and Energy & Utilities (31%).
- When asked to rank the top drivers of workforce productivity, employers point to: professional development through training, upskilling, and reskilling (40%), establishing clear goals and objectives for staff (37%), and cultivating a positive work culture that includes performance recognition (36%). The lowest factors identified: leveraging new, AI-enabled tools (18%), in-person collaboration (19%), growing adoption of existing tech (20%).
- In evaluating candidates beyond their technical skills, employers ranked: communication, collaboration and teamwork (39%); accountability and reliability (33%); reasoning and problem-solving (29%); active learning and curiosity (23%); and resilience, stress tolerance, and adaptability (23%) as key soft skills.
- To overcome talent shortages, employers report being more willing to hire applicants who are older and seeking employment changes (34%), have been unemployed due to caretaking responsibilities (27%), have non-linear career paths (27%), and/or have been long-term unemployed (26%).
ManpowerGroup interviewed nearly 39,000 employers across 41 countries on hiring intentions for the fourth quarter of 2023.
Global Net Employment Outlooks
Used internationally as a bellwether of economic and labor market trends, the Net Employment Outlook – calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers who anticipate reductions to staffing levels from those who plan to hire – now stands at +30%. Global hiring intentions are up 1% from Q4 2023, and a 2% increase from last quarter.
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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.
This research and the supporting materials contain forward-looking statements, including statements regarding labor demand in the technology industry and use of emerging technologies. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in the forward-looking statements due to risks, uncertainties and assumptions. These factors include those found in the Company's reports filed with the SEC, including the information under the heading "Risk Factors" in its Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2022, which information is incorporated herein by reference. ManpowerGroup disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking or other statements in this release, except as required by law.
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 2023 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with 38,833 public and private employers in 41 countries.
What is the survey methodology?
The methodology used to collect the data for the Employment Outlook is digitized across the 41 markets, beginning with the Q1 2022 report.
Respondents in previous quarters were contacted via telephone. Data is now collected online with double opt-in member panels and they are incentivized to complete the survey.
The survey participants are not derived from ManpowerGroup’s customer base. To protect the integrity of the data, survey respondents remain completely anonymous and confidential.
In line with standard findings of online surveys, more people are now taking a position – selecting that their workforce will either increase or decrease vs. no change. Because the Net Employment Outlook is based only on the people saying increase or decrease, the result of this higher level of engagement means the methodology shift may contribute to a higher Outlook.
The survey responses were collected July 3 – 31, 2023.
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?
Reputation Leaders is our lead research partner who analyzes data for all 41 countries and territories to ensure consistency.
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 41 countries across 5 regions and specific industries within each.
The current results, including the Net Employment Outlook, provide 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 Global Net Employment Outlooks graph (above) is a helpful way to visualize these trends and their impacts over the past five years.