ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey Reveals: Moderate hiring activity expected in Mainland China for Q1 2020


‐ The strongest industry labor markets are forecast in the Transportation & Utilities sector and Service sector, both with Outlooks of +7%.
‐ In a regional comparison, Shenzhen employers expect the strongest hiring pace with an Outlook of +7%.
‐ Large employers anticipate in the most upbeat hiring intentions of all four organization size categories, reporting an Outlook of +13%.
‐ Globally, employers in 42 of the 43 countries and territories surveyed anticipate an increase in payrolls during the next three months. The strongest Outlooks are reported in Greece and Japan.

Shanghai, China,10 December 2019 - The First Quarter 2020 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released by ManpowerGroup, the leading global workforce solutions company, reveals job seekers in Mainland China can expect some hiring opportunities in the January to March period, with Chinese employers reporting a seasonally adjusted1 Net Employment Outlook2 of +6%. Hiring plans improve by 2 percentage points when compared with the previous quarter, but decline by 3 percentage points year-over-year.

“Chinese employers are set to slightly rebound their hiring pace in the first quarter of 2020 because of China's continued efforts to improve business environment,” ManpowerGroup Greater China said. “China to date this year has taken a series of measures to stabilize the scale and improve the quality of foreign investment. Moreover, Chinese governments adopt policies to continuously promote higher-level opening up.”

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the first quarter 2020 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 4,277 employers in China, with 9% expecting to increase staffing levels, 2% forecasting a decrease and 55% anticipating no change. Once the data is adjusted to allow for seasonal variation, the Net Employment Outlook stands at a cautiously optimistic +6%.

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

With workforce gains forecast in five of six industry sectors, the strongest hiring plans are reported in the Services sector (+7%) and the Transportation & Utilities sector (+7%).Hiring prospects strengthen in four of the six sectors quarter-over-quarter, but weaken in all six sectors when compared with this time one year ago.

“According to the official information, the investment of the traffic infrastructure projects reached hundreds of billions with a significant increase in long-term and large-scale. This trend will obviously drive the talent demand of transportation and public utilities.” ManpowerGroup Greater China said.

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

Workforce gains are forecast for all nine of China’s regions during the January to March period. Employers in eight regions report stronger hiring prospects when compared with the previous quarter, but hiring plans weaken in all nine regions in a comparison with the same period last year. Shenzhen employers forecast the strongest regional labor market in the coming quarter, with an Outlook of +7%, improving by 3 percentage points quarter-over-quarter, but decreasing by 3 percentage points year-over-year.

“Relevant reports showed that China's southern tech hub Shenzhen offered 30 square km of land to attract investors and facilitate industrial development,” ManpowerGroup Greater China said, “This initiative will promote the sustained economic growth and employment of the city.”

The steady hiring intentions are reported by Large-size employers4

Chinese employers in three of the four organization size categories expect to increase staffing levels in 1Q 2020. Large employers anticipate the strongest hiring climate, reporting an Outlook of +13%, Meanwhile, Micro employers forecast flat hiring activity with an Outlook of 0%.

Globally, strongest hiring intentions reported in Greece and Japan

ManpowerGroup interviewed over 58,000 employers across 43 countries and territories to forecast labor market activity* in Quarter 1 2020.

Based on seasonally adjusted analysis*, employers in 42 of the 43 countries and territories surveyed expect to add to payrolls in the first three months of 2020.The strongest Net Employment Outlooks are reported in Greece(+25%), Japan(+25%), Taiwan(+23%), the U.S.(+19%)and Romania(+14%). The weakest hiring intentions are reported in Panama(-1%), Argentina(+1%), Costa Rica(+1%), Italy(+1%) and Spain(+1%).

When compared with the final quarter of 2019, employers report stronger hiring sentiment in 15 of the 43 countries and territories, but hiring prospects weaken in 23 (with no change reported infive).In a comparison with this time one year ago, hiring plans strengthen in 12 of the 43 countries and territories, but weaken in 26 (with no change in five).

* 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 10 March 2020 and will detail expected labor market activity for the second quarter of 2020.

Note To 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 43countries 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, pollingover 58,000 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 130 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 130 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”.


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