ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Reveals: Q3 hiring pace in Mainland China will slow down but still stronger than other countries, steady hiring intentions are reported by Large-size employers


‐ The strongest sector hiring pace is forecast in the Transportation & Utilities sector, reporting an Outlook of +5%.
‐ Guangzhou employers forecast the strongest regional hiring pace, reporting an Outlook of +5%. 
‐ Large employers forecast the strongest labor market with an Outlook of +15%.
‐ Globally, employers in 35 of the 43 countries and territories surveyed expect to trim payrolls during the next three months, including two of the seven Asia Pacific countries and territories.

Shanghai, China, 9 June 2020 - The Third Quarter 2020ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released by ManpowerGroup, the leading global workforce solutions company, reveals Chinese employers expect limited payroll gains during the third quarter of 2020, according to employers who report a seasonally adjusted1 Net Employment Outlook2 (NEO) of +3%, decreasing by 3 and 5 percentage points in comparison with 2Q 2020 and the third quarter of 2019, respectively. And it's worth mentioning that Mainland China employers still anticipate the stronger labor markets than other countries.

This survey particularly investigated the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on business and recruitment expectations. It was found that 45% of Mainland China employers report their normal business activity has been halted by the Covid-19 outbreak. 29% of the respondents said that their businesses activity unaffected. Nearly 30% of Mainland China employers expect their company to return to pre-COVID-19 hiring levels within three months.

“Employers anticipate a soft labor market in Mainland China during the third quarter of 2020 as a result of global virus outbreak,” ManpowerGroup Greater China said. “The COVID-19 pandemic has posed significant challenges in the job market due to its impact on business activities amid the downward pressure exerted by the micro-economy. The optimistic outlook is that China has been recovering more steadily than other countries from the pandemic."

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter 2020 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 4,201 employers in China, with 6% expecting to increase staffing levels, 3% forecasting a decrease and 64% anticipating no change. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Net Employment Outlook stands at +3%.

Strongest hiring outlook is reported in the Transportation & Public Utilities sector.

Payrolls are expected to grow in all six Chinese industry sectors during the forthcoming quarter, although Outlooks weaken in all six when compared with both the prior quarter and last year at this time. The strongest sector hiring pace is forecast in the Transportation & Utilities sector, where the Outlook of +5% declines by 3 percentage points quarter-over-quarter and by 5 percentage points year-over-year.

“Job opportunities can be found in Transportation & Public Utilities sectoras Mainland China begins to speed up the construction of expressways, major waterway transport projects and new infrastructure in the fields of 5G networks, internet of things, big data, artificial intelligence, industrial internet and smart cities,” ManpowerGroup Greater China said.

Guangzhou employers report the strongest hiring prospects among nine regions and cities3

Employers anticipate an increase in staffing levels for all nine regions during the July to September period. However, hiring sentiment weakens in all nine regions both quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year. Guangzhou employers forecast the strongest regional hiring pace, reporting an Outlook of +5%. Hiring plans for the region decline by 2 percentage points when compared with the previous quarter but remain relatively stable in comparison with last year at this time.

“In May, Guangzhou signed 73 digital infrastructure projects with a total investment of 180 billion yuan,” ManpowerGroup Greater China said, “these projects will create jobs for the city."

Steady hiring intentions are reported by employers of Large organizations4

Job gains are expected in three of the four organization size categories during the next three months. Employers from large companies forecast the strongest labor market with an Outlook of +15%, but Micro firms expect to trim payrolls, reporting a sluggish Outlook of -7%.

Globally, strongest hiring intentions reported in Japan, India, the U.S., Mainland China and Taiwan China

ManpowerGroup interviewed 34,601employers across 43 countries and territories to forecast labor market activity* in Quarter 3 2020. Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the third quarter of 2020 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and the subsequent economic shutdown in many countries.

Based on seasonally adjusted analysis*, employers in seven of the 43 countries and territories surveyed expect to increase payrolls during the coming quarter, while employers expect to trim payrolls in 35 (with flat hiring activity forecast in one). The strongest hiring sentiment is reported in Japan (+11%), India (+5%), the U.S. (+3%), Mainland China (+3%) and Taiwan China (+3%). The weakest labor markets are expected in Singapore (-28%), Costa Rica (-21%), Colombia (-19%), Peru (-19%) and South Africa (-17%).

When compared with the previous quarter, employers in 42 of the 43 countries and territories report weaker hiring plans, with Hong Kong China employers reporting no change. In a comparison with this time one year ago, Net Employment Outlooks weaken in all 43 countries and territories.

*Commentary is based on seasonally adjusted data where available. Data is not seasonally adjusted for Croatia or Portugal.

In addition, results for all 43 countries and territories can be viewed in the new interactive ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Explorer tool. The next ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 8 September 2020 and will detail expected labor market activity for the fourth quarter of 2020.

Notes to the Editor
1. Seasonally adjusted data is a statistical process that allows us to present the survey data without the effect of fluctuations that normally occur through the course of the year, as a result of seasonal events such as changes in weather, public holidays, etc. Removal of the seasonal effect gives us the ability to observe the current labor market trends more meaningfully. All industry sector data reported above is seasonally adjusted. Regional and city data has not been adjusted to account for seasonal variation.
2. The Net Employment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity less the percentage of employers who expect to reduce their workforces.
3. Since Q1 2012, the previous 16 cities surveyed in mainland China are collected into 9 regions and cities. The five cities include Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Chengdu. The four regions include North, South, East and Central & West. The North region includes Beijing, Tianjin, Dalian and Chengdu, while the South region includes Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Xiamen and Changsha. The East region includes Shanghai, Nanjing, Suzhou and Hangzhou; and the Central & West region includes Chengdu, Chongqing, Xi’an and Wuhan.
4. Since Q1 2015, ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey shows the organization sizes data. Participating employers are categorized into one of four organization sizes: Micro businesses have less than 10 employees; Small businesses have 10-49 employees; Medium businesses have 50-249 employees; and Large businesses have 250 or more employees.
Full survey results for each of the 43 countries and territories included in this quarter’s survey, plus regional and global comparisons, can be found at In addition, all tables and graphs from the full report are available to be downloaded for use in publication or broadcast from the ManpowerGroup Web site at

About the Survey
The global leader in innovative workforce solutions, ManpowerGroup releases the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforce during the next quarter. It is the longest running, most extensive, forward-looking employment survey in the world, polling over 34,000 employers in 43 countries and territories. The survey serves as a bellwether of labor market trends and activities and is regularly used to inform the Bank of England’s Inflation Reports, as well as a regular data source for the European Commission, informing its EU Employment Situation and Social Outlook report the Monthly Monitor. ManpowerGroup’s independent survey data is also sourced by financial analysts and economists around the world to help determine where labor markets are headed.

About ManpowerGroup Greater China
ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited (Stock Code: 2180.HK) started its business in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1997. Since that time, it has accelerated its market expansion and now provides services to its clients in over 150 cities in the Greater China markets and operates in more than 20 offices. ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN), our largest shareholder, is a world leader in workforce solutions and services -- with a long operating history of more than 70 years.

Empowered by the world-wide reputation and global perspectives of ManpowerGroup Inc., ManpowerGroup Greater China has rooted its operations in local markets across Greater China for over 20 years. In 2015, ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited and CITICPE established a strategic joint venture headquartered in Shanghai, to penetrate and accelerate business in Greater China. Through our service network of over 150 cities, we offer comprehensive and full range workforce solutions to more than 20,000 companies in the Greater China Region.

ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited commits to unleashing the power of the human potential for progress. We are well recognized by clients and associations through our contemporary offerings of flexible staffing, head-hunting, recruitment process outsourcing, talent management and training, and other integrated service solutions. As a testament to our commitment, we have received such honorable recognitions as “Asia-Pacific Human Resources Service Leading Enterprise”.

For more information about ManpowerGroup Greater China, please visit:


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