Global Employer Hiring Outlooks Hold Steady for Q4

September 12, 2023 at 10:03 AM EDT

Final ManpowerGroup Employer Outlook Survey of 2023 finds Net Employment Outlooks improve in 24 countries, remained unchanged in one, and weaken in 16 when compared to the same time last year.

  • Globally, employers expect modest hiring to continue for Q4 with hiring relatively flat year-over-year.
  • The survey found the IT sector has the brightest Outlook globally, followed by Financials & Real Estate, Communication Services, Health Care & Life Sciences, and Energy & Utilities industries.
  • Employers cited professional development (training, upskilling, reskilling), clear goals and objectives, and positive work culture (including performance recognition) as the important drivers of increased workforce productivity.

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 12, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers anticipate closing out 2023 with a calculated approach to hiring, according to the latest ManpowerGroup (NYSE: MAN) Employment Outlook Survey of nearly 39,000 employers in 41 countries. The research is based on survey responses fielded July 3-31, 2023. The Net Employment Outlook (NEO) for Q4 is +30%, up 1% from Q4 2022, and a 2% increase from last quarter.

"The data for Q4 reveals employers continue to plan measured hiring despite economic uncertainties," said ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO Jonas Prising. "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."

Used internationally as a bellwether of economic and labor market trends, the NEO is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers who anticipate reductions in staffing levels from those who plan to hire.


  • 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%).


North America: Employers are the most optimistic for Q4 with unchanged Outlooks since Q3 (+35%)

  • Employers in the U.S. (+36% NEO; +1% Quarter-over-Quarter, +3% Year-over-Year) and Puerto Rico (+36% NEO; +1% QoQ; +4% YoY) reported increases in their Outlooks compared to last quarter and the same time last year.
  • Employers in Canada (+27%) reported decreased Outlooks both QoQ (-3%) and YoY (-4%).
  • The U.S. reports the strongest Outlook globally for the Financials & Real Estate industry (51%).

Asia Pacific (APAC): Hiring managers across APAC anticipate strong hiring intentions (+32%), remaining relatively stable when compared to the previous quarter (+1%), but weakening year-over-year (-8%).

  • India (+37% NEO; +1% QoQ; -17% YoY) and Singapore (+36% NEO; +2% QoQ; +0% YoY) reported the strongest Outlooks.
  • The most cautious Outlooks were reported in Japan (+11% NEO; -2% QoQ; +1% YoY).

Central and South America: Regional Outlooks stand at +31%, slightly increasing since last quarter (+2%) yet decreasing when compared to this time last year (-4%).

  • Hiring managers in Costa Rica again report strongest intentions (+41% NEO; -2% QoQ; -10% YoY), followed by Brazil (+38% NEO; +5% QoQ; -9% YoY), and Guatemala (+36% NEO; +1 QoQ; -2% YoY).
  • The lowest confidence is seen by employers in Argentina (+11% NEO; +6% QoQ; +10% YoY).
  • This region has the strongest hiring intentions globally for the following sectors:
    • Health Care & Life Sciences: Costa Rica (68%)
    • Energy & Utilities: Puerto Rico (63%)
    • Information Technology: Puerto Rico (57%)
    • Consumer Goods & Services: Guatemala (48%)

Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): The region reported an improved Outlook (+25%), moderately increasing since last quarter (+3%) and the previous year (5%).

  • The strongest Outlooks were found in Switzerland (+38% NEO; +11% QoQ; +18% YoY), The Netherlands (+35% NEO; -4% QoQ; +7% YoY), Portugal (+35% NEO; +8% QoQ; +8% YoY), and South Africa (+35% NEO; +1% QoQ; +5% YoY).
  • The weakest Outlooks are in the Czech Republic (+11% NEO; -5% QoQ; -1% YoY), Hungary (+13% NEO; +1% QoQ; +18% YoY), and Slovakia (+15% NEO; +5% QoQ; +7% YoY).
  • The strongest hiring intentions globally for the following sectors are found in this region:
    • Communication Services: Switzerland (66%)
    • Industrials & Materials: The Netherlands (45%)
    • Transport, Logistics, and Automotive: Switzerland (62%)

To view the complete results for the fourth quarter 2023 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, including regional and country data, visit: The next survey will be released in December and will report hiring expectations for the first quarter of 2024.


The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind, used globally as a key economic indicator. 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 expecting a decrease in hiring activity.


The methodology used to collect the data for the Employment Outlook has been digitized in 41 markets for the Q4 2023 report. Survey responses were collected in July 2023. The question asked and the respondent profile remains unchanged. Size of organization and sector are standardized across all countries and territories to allow international comparisons. 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.


ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing, and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis, and Talent Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across more than 70 countries and territories and has done so for 75 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity – as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality, and Disability, and in 2023 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 14th time – all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.

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This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding labor demand in certain regions, countries and industries and economic uncertainty. 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.

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