Q4 2023 Mainland China EMPLOYMENT OUTLOOKS: Chinese Employment Outlook Remains Steady and Cautious in Q4


SHANGHAI12th September 2023 - ManpowerGroup Greater China has launched itsnewest Employment Outlook Survey (hereinafter referred to as "MEOS")for Q4 2023. Data indicates that Chinese Employment Outlook remains steady and cautious in Q4 during the upcomingquarter. The survey was implemented inJuly 2023. For this report, MEOS surveyed 3,060 employersin Mainland China to forecast the employment status of companies during theperiod of October to December in 2023.

The employment outlook issteady and cautious, with a slight decline in recruitment intent for Q4

49% of the investigated employers planto hire, while 35% plan to keep workforce levels steady, and 15% expect a staffingdecrease. The Net Employment Outlook is (+34%) after seasonally adjustedanalysis. However, Chinese organizations expect the NEO to worsenby 1 percentage point since last quarter, and to weaken by 9 points compared tothe fourth quarter of 2022.

ManpowerGroup stated that the macro environment in Q3 2023presents challenges, including a global economic slowdown and substantialdomestic market pressure. However, as a series of macroeconomic policy measureshave been introduced recently, the confidence in business development isgradually being restored. These interacting factors contribute to a relativelystable and cautious employment outlook for the next quarter.

Shenzhen leads in employment optimism with highest annual growth rate

Chinese organizations in all 12 regionsexpect an increase in staffing levels in the fourth quarter of 2023. The mostcompetitive region in China is the Shenzhen region, with a NEO of 42, rising by3 percentage points since last quarter, and by 15 percentage points since thisquarter last year.

Looking back to the fourth quarter of2022, job markets have weakened in 9 of 12 regions, strengthened in 2, and seenno change in 1 region. Shenzhen has recorded the most remarkable growthcompared to the same period last year.


Q4 2023Employment Outlook of 12 Regions and Cities

Net Employment Outlook (seasonally adjusted %)

ManpowerGroup believes that the keyeconomic indicators, comprising industrial production, fixed investment, marketsales, and goods exports, have demonstrated a consistent upward trend fromJanuary to July. This positive trajectory reflects the city’s resilient androbust economic recovery, bolstered by continuous advancements in developmentquality. Notably, under the paradigm of digital-driven progress, Shenzhen’sinvestments in high-tech industries have flourished, illustrating its thrivingurban economic dynamism. Moreover, the profound influence of the collaborativedevelopment between Shenzhen and Hong Kong, as well as the Greater Bay Area,has, to a certain extent, stimulated employment opportunities within Shenzhen’sborders. 

Communication Services and Health Care& Life Sciences offer strongest employment prospects

The NEO in all 9 Chinese sectors showsthat organizations expect to increase staffing levels from October to December2023. Compared to the third quarter of 2023, hiring paces haveweakened in 5 of 9 sectors and strengthened in 4 sectors. The mostcompetitive sector is Communication Services with a NEO of +51%. Indeed, theCommunication Services sector reports the greatest increase in expectationssince the third quarter of 2023, with a rise of 28 percentage points, butfalling by 4 percentage points since this time last year. The Health Care& Life Sciences sector (+47%) saw a 6 percentage point growthquarter-on-quarter and a 10 percentage point growth year-on-year.


Q4 2023 Employment Outlook of 9Industry Sectors

Net EmploymentOutlook (seasonally adjusted %)

Large enterprises have the mostpositive recruitment expectations, while micro-enterprises show the mostsignificant growth

All 4organization sizes anticipate an increase in staffing levels from October toDecember 2023. Chineseemployers in large organizations with 250+ employees are the most optimisticwith a NEO of +39%. Theorganizations reporting the greatest increase since last quarter and since thistime last year are micro-organizations with less than 10 employees. They reporta rise of 6 points since Q3 2023 and 14 points since Q4 2022.


Q4 2023 Employment Outlook forOrganizations of Four Sizes

Net EmploymentOutlook (seasonally adjusted %)

ManpowerGroupbelieves, “Since Q2, there has been a steady rebound in recruitment demand forSMEs, particularly among micro-enterprises, the most dynamic segment withinthis category. Moreover, the government is prioritizing the growth of small andmicro enterprises, as well as individual businesses. The Ministry of Financeand the State Taxation Administration have issued multiple announcements tooptimize and extend tax incentives, explicitly aimed at supporting theirdevelopment. These targeted measures, which include intensified tax reductionsand exemptions, will bolster confidence and stimulate employment demand in thesmall and micro enterprise sector.”

Employers foresee equal increases in temporary workers and permanentemployees to tackle talent shortage

Amid economicuncertainty, and based on further survey findings, it has been observed that44% of employers surveyed in Mainland China have shown equal likelihood to hiretemporary and permanent workers. As the talent pool shrinks, employers arewidening their scope and looking to non-traditional applicants. Among them, 28%of surveyed employers are willing to hire older, and seeking employment orcareer changes.


Adapting Hiring Strategies in theTalent Crunch 

In terms ofrecruitment, the top five soft skills that employers prioritize areAccountability & Reliability, Collaboration & Teamwork, Active Learning& Curiosity, Creativity & Originality, Resilience & Adaptability.Among Generation Z (aged 18-26), the most favored soft skills are Active Learning& Curiosity, Creativity & Originality, and Initiative Taking. For theBaby Boomer generation (aged 59-77), the most favored soft skills areLeadership & Social Influence, Teaching & Mentoring, and Accountability& Reliability.


The most favored soft skillsamong Generation Z

Employers in all 41 countries and territories expect to increaseheadcount

ManpowerGroup surveyed nearly 39,000 in 41 countries andterritories to measure hiring expectations from October to December2023. Employers around the world in 41 countries and territories are expectingto grow payrolls. The strongesthiring plans for the next three months are reported in Costa Rica, Brazil andSwitzerland. The weakest hiring sentiment is reported in Argentina, CzechRepublic, Japan.


Q4 2023 Employment Outlook for 41Countries and Territories

Net EmploymentOutlook (seasonally adjusted %)

APAC: Hiring managers across theAsia Pacific region anticipate increasing headcount (+32%), improving whencompared to the previous quarter (+1 percentage point) but weakeningyear-over-year (-8 percentage points). India (+37%)and Singapore (+36%) report the strongest outlooks in the region. The mostcautious Outlooks were reported by employers in Japan (+11%). Chinese EmploymentOutlook remains steady and cautious, and Chinese organizations expect the NEOto worsen by 1 percentage point since last quarter, and to weaken by 9 pointscompared to the fourth quarter of 2022.

Americas: Countries across North,Central and South America report positive employment outlooks for Q4.Hiringmanagers in Costa Rica report the strongest intentions (+41%) both regionallyand globally, regionally followed by Brazil (+38%). The lowest confidenceis seen by employers in Argentina (+11%).

EMEA: Hiring expectations remain the lowest, although steady, in the EMEAregion (+25%). Outlooks vary across the region with employers most keen to hirein the Switzerland (+38%), The Netherlands (+35%), Portugal (+35%), and SouthAfrica (+35%). Weakest Outlooks are in the Czech Republic (+11%), Hungary(+13%), and Slovakia (+15%).

Compared to the previous quarter, overall employment confidenceincreased cautiously in 24 countries and territories.


Yearly Changes in 41 Countriesand Territories

Net EmploymentOutlook (seasonally adjusted %)

To viewcomplete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, please visit https://go.manpowergroup.com/meos. With MEOS beginning in 1962, thisyear’s results mark the 61st consecutive year of the survey.


The methodology used to collect the data for the Employment Outlook hasbeen digitized in 41 markets from the Q1 2022 report. Respondents in priorquarters were contacted via telephone and data is now being collected online.Respondents are members of double opt-in online panels and are incentivized tocomplete the survey. In line with standard findings of online surveys, morepeople are now taking a position – selecting that their workforce will eitherincrease or decrease vs. no change. Because the Net Employment Outlook is basedonly on the people saying increase or decrease, the result of this higher levelof engagement means the methodology shift may contribute to a higher Outlook.With a sample of 1,000 there is a margin of errorof +/-3%. The question asked and the respondent profile remains unchanged. Thesize of the organization and sector are standardized across all countries toallow international comparisons.


The survey data was collected in July 2023.TheEmployment Outlook Survey is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employmentsurvey of its kind, used globally as a key economic indicator. The NetEmployment Outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employersanticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this thepercentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.


ManpowerGroup Greater China Limited (Stock Code: 2180.HK) started itsbusiness in Hong Kong and Taiwan in 1997. Since that time, it has acceleratedits market expansion and now provides services to its clients in over 270 citiesin the Greater China markets and operates in more than 20 offices.ManpowerGroup Inc. (NYSE: MAN), our largest shareholder, is a world leader inworkforce solutions and services-- with a long operating history of more than 75years.

Empowered by the world-wide reputation and global perspectives ofManpowerGroup Inc.,

ManpowerGroup Greater China has rooted its operations in local marketsacross Greater China for over 20 years. In 2015, ManpowerGroup Greater ChinaLimited and CITICPE established a strategic joint venture headquartered inShanghai, to penetrate and accelerate business in Greater China. Through ourservice network of over 270 cities, we offer comprehensive and full rangeworkforce solutions to more than 20,000 companies in the Greater China Region. 


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