worldManpowerGroup’s Employment Outlook Survey for Q2 2013 has revealed a softening outlook of the labor market as the global economy creates uncertainty for global employers. The new research indicates that employers are awaiting news of a more robust economy before committing to sustainable hiring. Several key points were uncovered by the Q2 research, including:

• Globally, 32 out of 42 surveyed countries expect to expand their workforces in Q2 2013, up from 29 during Q1. Hiring optimism increased in 21 countries over the quarter while falling in 15.

• Hiring is weaker than it was one year ago in 25 of the surveyed countries and improved in 15.

• Europe, the Middle East, and Africa contain the least optimistic quarterly forecasts where over 40 percent of countries have reported negative hiring outlooks, though this has improved from 13 countries in the previous quarter.

• Hiring in the U.S. remains fairly stable quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year.

“Employers continue to be troubled by the current global economic environment, where the only certainty is uncertainty, meaning companies remain cautious when it comes to adding to their workforces,” said Jeffrey A. Joerres, ManpowerGroup chairman and CEO. “Although the tea leaves are not providing any clear direction at this stage, there are positive signs from Europe which suggest some stabilization.”

“There is a familiar story in the U.S and that is of employers taking a measured and positive approach to hiring. Companies remain cautious about making any drastic adjustments to their hiring plans, but the small steps forward indicate a continued trend of improved confidence,” Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup president, said.

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