World Job Outlook: U.S., Asia, Strong -- Europe Improving

The outlook for job growth is improving in Japan and Germany, with strong conditions holding in the U.S. and many Asian nations, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey released March 15. The report suggested much of Europe is coming out of the doldrums, with the exception of Italy.

Hiring is expected to be positive in the second quarter of 2006 in 23 of 24 countries and territories surveyed in Europe, Asia and the Americas, the U.S. employment firm said.

"German employers are saying they will begin to add employees again, albeit modestly, and hiring activity in Japan should be vigorous, beyond what we normally see in the second quarter -- their peak hiring season. Chinese employers say they will reduce their hiring activity compared to last year at this time, while U.S. employers expect to add to their payrolls at a continued steady pace," said Jeffrey Joerres, chairman and chief executive of Manpower.

The strongest second-quarter hiring prospects were in Japan, India, Taiwan, Peru, New Zealand and Hong Kong, with only Italian employers reporting a negative hiring outlook, Manpower said, adding that it was the first time Peru was included.

The survey found improving job prospects in 10 of 12 European countries surveyed, with the strongest readings in Spain, Norway, Sweden, Ireland and Britain. The only negative outlook for Europe was reported in Italy where employers have been pessimistic for three consecutive quarters.

Hiring across the Americas is expected to remain stable from last year, with a modest improvement in Canada.

In the Asia-Pacific region, hiring activity is expected to be strongest in Japan, India and Taiwan, with the softest markets in Singapore, Australia and China.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2006

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