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Global Employer Hiring Outlooks Hold Steady for Q4

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.

Employers anticipate closing out 2023 with a calculated approach to hiring, according to the latest ManpowerGroup 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 AmericaEmployers 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%)

EuropeMiddle 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%)