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Employers worldwide report lower hiring expectations this summer

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As speculations about looming economic woes continue, employers are cooling down their hiring plans for the summer and third quarter of 2023, according to a June 13 report from the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.

The seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook is +28%, which is down 4% from the same period last year. Most countries are reporting a weaker hiring outlook as compared with this time last year, with North America holding the strongest outlook at +35%.

“This data suggests employers are planning more measured hiring for the quarter ahead as they navigate a range of local and macro level challenges from supply constraints to uneven consumer confidence and rising inflation,” Jonas Prising, chairman and CEO of ManpowerGroup, said in a statement.

“That said, attracting and retaining business critical talent remains a priority,” he said. “Our survey respondents around the world continue to be focused on hiring for in-demand roles.”

In a survey of nearly 39,000 employers in 41 countries, business leaders from 26 countries reported a weaker hiring outlook compared with the same period last year. 

Although employers in North America remain the most optimistic for the third quarter — particularly in the U.S. — both the U.S. and Canada expect hiring to be weaker compared to last year.

Importantly, digital roles continue to drive the most demand globally. Businesses in the IT industry reported the brightest hiring outlook for the third time this year (39%), though down 7% as compared with the third quarter last year.

Following IT, energy and utilities reported the strongest outlook (34%), with the least optimistic hiring plans reported among companies in communication services (22%) and consumer goods and services (22%).

Recent data indicates that the labor market is now cooling down, with job openings falling and layoffs increasing, economists have said. Companies are becoming more cautious about hiring but also reporting ongoing difficulties with finding workers who have the skills they need for in-demand jobs.

Amid the cooldown, recent college graduates are lowering their expectations, according to a recent report. Some graduates are avoiding companies and industries that are struggling, which they said HR leaders and executives can mitigate by offering professional development and advancement opportunities.

Despite the potential challenges ahead, talent acquisition professionals have noted a silver lining — it’s a great time to build talent pipelines. TA teams plan to mature their technology stacks and focus on better recruitment strategies this year.

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