Under Embargo Until 0:01 September 9Th 2008

Under Embargo Until 0:01 September 9Th 2008

Embargo until 00:01 GMT, Sept 8th 2009Contact:

For Immediate ReleaseVivian Ng
Manpower Hong Kong
+852 2912 5535


Employer hiring optimism rebounds from negative 3Q report

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released today reveals that employment prospects in Hong Kongshow positive movement in the fourth quarter of 2009. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, Hong Kong’s Net Employment Outlook[1] stands at +3%[2], representing a moderate improvement of 6 percentage points quarter-over-quarter, but a considerable decline of 11 percentage points year-over-year.

The data indicates that 11 percent of respondents interviewed anticipate adding employees over the next three months compared to eight percent last quarter, while only seven percent of surveyed employers predict reducing staffing levels compared to eight percent in the previous quarter. Eight in 10 employers expect to keep staffs intact.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey was conducted by interviewing 815 employers in Hong Kong and over 72,000 public and private employers worldwide to forecast global hiring plans for the quarter ahead (October to December 2009).

“The survey results show improved labor market sentimentamongHong Kong employers. It is encouraging to see that employers expecting to increase their payrolls outnumber those whoplan to reduce their staffing levels in the next quarter. Though the unemployment rate in the May to July timeframe remained robust at 5.4%, the data reveals that most employers intend to leavetheir workforces intact, and thispoints to additional stability in the quarter ahead. Active equity and property markets are the driving forces behind efforts to improve the weakmarket. However, employment is a lagging indicator of growth. As a result,the jobless rate may keep on a steady level as we near the end of the year and tend to come down gradually in Q1 to Q2 of 2010," revealed Ms. Lancy Chui, General Manager ofManpower Hong Kong and Macau Operations.

Seasonally adjusted data reveals that hiring expectations among employers improved inall six industry sectors compared to three months ago. Conversely, the Outlooks are weaker in all six sectors when compared with the same period of 2008.

For the seventh consecutive quarter, employers in the Services (+6%) industry sector are reporting the most active hiring activity among the six industry sectors surveyed. The Outlook improves 4 percentage points quarter-over-quarter but declines by a considerable 21 percentage points year-over-year.

“Despite consumer sentiment in luxury products or services, the remarkably strong 7.9% expansion of China’s GDP in the second quarter of 2009 is likely to benefit Hong Kong’s tourism and its related industry sectors in the coming months,” said Ms. Chiu. “Big spenders from mainland China can provide a boost to sustaining a positive market sentiment.”

Among the other sectors surveyed, the weakest hiring intentions are reported by employers in the Manufacturing and the Transportation & Utilities (both at -3%) industry sectors. The Manufacturing Outlook is 1 percentage point stronger than three months ago, but 11 percentage points weaker year-over-year. Hiring expectations among employers in the Transportation & Utilities sector are 3 percentage points stronger compared to Q3 of 2009, but 13 percentage points weaker year-over-year.

“Theslower external trading environment andthe contracted consumer demand from the U.S. and Europe have further weakenedthe logistics sector. Both air freight and air passenger traffic statistics fell under the headwinds of global economic slowdown, and this has put Transportation sector job prospects under a lot of pressure,”explained Ms. Chui.

The modest Outlook (+3%) of the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate industry sectors showsa considerable improvement of 10 percentage points quarter-over-quarter. However, the industry sector’s Outlook is still 12 percentage points weaker than in Q4 2008 and far below the sector’s historical levels.

“We also see an emerging demand from corporate banking, showing a gradual improvement in job opportunities, especially wealth management,” said Ms. Chui. “Although the current jobless data remains stable, it will continue to face upward pressure as the business climate remains cautious and employers remainselective and conservative.”

Hong Kong is one of 35 countries and territories that take part in Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey. In the Asia Pacific region, employment prospects are strongest in India, China and Australia, with the weakest and only negative forecasts reported in Japan and New Zealand.

Globally, employers in 17 of 35 countries and territories interviewed report some positive hiring activity in the next three months. Hiring expectations are most favorable inIndia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, China, Australia, Singapore, Costa Rica, Canada, Taiwan and Poland. Conversely, employer hiring intentions are weakest in Romania,Spain, Ireland, Japanand Mexico.

The next Manpower Employment Outlook Survey on hiring intentions for the first quarter activity for 2010 will be released on the December 8th2009. A complimentary copy of the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is available to the public through their local Manpower representative in participating countries. To receive e-mail notification when the survey is available each quarter, interested individuals are invited to complete an online subscription form at


Note to Editors

Full survey results for each of the 35 countries and territories included in this quarter’s survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found in the Manpower Press Room at In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the Manpower Web site at

Note that in Quarter 2 of 2008, the survey adopted the TRAMO-SEATS model for seasonal adjustment of data. As a result, you may notice some seasonally adjusted data points change slightly from previous reports. This model is recommended by the Eurostat department of the European Union and the European Central Bank and is widely used internationally.

About the Survey

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. It is the only forward-looking survey of its kind, unparalleled in its size, scope, longevity and area of focus. The Survey has been running for more than 45 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 over 72,000 public and private employers worldwide and is considered a highly respected economic indicator.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is currently available for 35 countries and territories: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Colombia, Costa Rica, CzechRepublic, France, Germany, Greece, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Peru, Poland, Romania, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, the United Kingdom and the United States. The program began in the United States and Canada in 1962, and the United Kingdom was added in 1966. Mexico and Ireland launched the survey in 2002, and 13 additional countries were added to the program in 2003. New Zealand joined the program in 2004, China, India, Switzerland and Taiwan were added in 2005, and Argentina, Peru, Costa Rica and South Africa joined in 2006. Colombia, the CzechRepublic, Greece, Guatemala, Poland and Romania joined in 2008. Hungary and Braziljoined in 2009. For more information, visit the Manpower Inc. Web site at and enter the ResearchCenter, or contact Bruce Bock, Sr. Global Communications Manager at

About Manpower Inc.

Manpower Inc. (NYSE: MAN) is a world leader in the employment services industry; creating and delivering services that enable its clients to win in the changing world of work. With over 60 years’ experience, Manpower offers employers a range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment; employee assessment and selection; training; outplacement; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower's worldwide network of 4,100 offices in 82 countries and territories enables the company to meet the needs of its 400,000 clients per year, including small and medium size enterprises in all industry sectors, as well as the world's largest multinational corporations. The focus of Manpower's work is on raising productivity through improved quality, efficiency and cost-reduction across their total workforce, enabling clients to concentrate on their core business activities. Manpower Inc. operates under five brands: Manpower, Manpower Professional, Elan, Jefferson Wells and Right Management. More information on Manpower Inc. is available at

About Manpower Hong Kong

Manpower Hong Kong was established in 1964 as a franchise operation. In April 1997, Manpower Inc. achieved wholly owned subsidiary status of the Hong Kong operation and the franchise was purchased outright. With over 40 years experience locally, Manpower Hong Kong provides employersa range of services for the entire employment and business cycle including permanent, temporary and contract recruitment;employee assessment and selection;training; outsourcing and consulting. Manpower helps both companies and individuals navigate the ever-changing world of work, helpingemployersand candidates to make sense of the forces shaping tomorrow's workplace. In Hong Kong, Manpower Inc. operates under four brands: Manpower, Manpower Professional, Jefferson Wells and Right Management. More information on Manpower Hong Kong is available at


Manpower Services (Hong Kong) Limited

Suites 501-502A, 5/F, Asian House, 1 Hennessy Road, Wanchai, Hong KongP.1 of 4

Tel: +852 2912 5535Website:

[1]A “Net Employment Outlook” is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff. A positive result indicates that more employers plan to increase rather than decrease staffing levels; a negative result reflects the opposite.

[2]Adjusted for seasonal variation