17/12/2003

Irish employers anticipate improvement in hiring activity

Irish employment confidence is showing signs of recovery, according to results of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

For the quarter January to March 2003, the Net Employment Outlook is 3%, which is a modest recovery of 7% points from the previous quarter’s pessimistic outlook.

The survey of 35,000 employers across 18 countries is conducted quarterly, to measure employer’s intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce.

“The results this quarter show a marked improvement and a renewed confidence amongst employers. However they continue to remain below the employment levels anticipated for the same period in 2002 and 2003,” said Jason Kennedy Managing Director of Manpower Ireland. “Seasonal factors, and continued employer uncertainty are undoubtedly incremental factors contributing to the reserved employer forecast for the forthcoming quarter,” said Kennedy.

Although Munster and Leinster are showing negative employment outlooks, they are up significantly on last quarter. Year on year, however, the picture is not as positive. Leinster, Munster and Dublin are showing considerable decreases year on year (-15%, -10% and –6% respectively). Connaught and Ulster are the only two regions that are up year on year.

Employment Outlooks across Europe, meanwhile, varied with Germany and Austria reporting negative Net Employment Outlook’s of (-14%) and (-1%) respectively. Employers in Norway showed the greatest level of optimistic (10%), which is 7% points more than the Net Employment Outlook for Ireland. The seasonally adjusted data for the UK reveals the first quarter on quarter improvement in the British employment outlook since the first quarter of 2003.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter.

The Survey has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on interviews with more than 35,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

(SP)

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