Survey: PR hiring to pick up in 4Q
From October to December, 18 percent of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 15 percent expect to reduce their payrolls, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.
Another 64 percent expect to maintain their current staff levels and 3 percent are not certain of their hiring plans. This yields a net employment outlook of 3 percent. [Manpower’s net employment outlook is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers expecting a decrease in hiring activity.]
“Employers’ hiring plans for the fourth quarter are stronger compared to the third quarter when the net employment outlook was -5 percent,” said Manpower spokeswoman Karen Cortiella. “Compared to one year ago when the net employment outlook was -1 percent, employers are also more optimistic about their staffing plans.”
For the coming quarter, job prospects appear best in construction; wholesale & retail trade; professional & business services and education & health services.
Employers in transportation & utilities and leisure & hospitality plan to reduce staffing levels.
Hiring in durable goods manufacturing, non-durable goods manufacturing, information, financial activities, other services and government is expected to remain unchanged.
Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate fell to 13.7 percent in July, stretching the run of joblessness decreases to 15 months.
The July jobless rate was down sharply from the 15.6 percent registered in the same month last year. It was 13.8 percent in June, which marked the first time Puerto Rico’s unemployment has been below 14 percent since January 2009.
Still, Puerto Rico’s job scene remains cloudy as the run of unemployment rate decreases is due in large part to the exit of frustrated job-seekers who drop efforts to find work. [The unemployment numbers are based on people who are working and/or people actively seeking work who report to the island Labor Department seeking work or to get unemployment benefits.] All others seeking work who do not report to the Labor Department are not counted in the unemployment rate.
The labor-participation rate was just 39.9 percent in July, down from 40.2 percent a year ago. The island’s labor-participation rate at the onset of the recession in 2006 was above 47 percent, but has been trending lower and trails far behind the U.S. average, which tops 65 percent.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows that Puerto Rico’s unemployment rate has fallen every month since April 2011, and has posted a sustained decrease on a same-month comparison since March 2010. The jobless rate in July 2006, when Puerto Rico’s long recession was still taking root, was 10.7 percent.
High unemployment and low labor-force participation remain perhaps the biggest challenges to the Puerto Rico economy despite signs the island may finally be pulling out of its long economic doldrums, according to New York Federal Reserve President William C. Dudley.
US and global employment outlook mixed
Of the more than 18,000 employers surveyed in the United States, 17 percent expect to add to their workforces, and 9 percent expect a decline in their payrolls during the fourth quarter. Some 72 percent of employers anticipate making no change to staff levels, and the remaining 2 percent of employers are undecided about their hiring plans. When seasonal variations are removed from the data, the net employment outlook is +11 percent, unchanged from the third quarter.
Globally, job seekers should see varying degrees of positive hiring activity across 31 of 42 countries and territories, with employers in 22 labor markets reporting improved or relatively stable hiring intentions compared to the third quarter, Manpower said.
However, the pace of hiring is expected to weaken in 26 markets compared to one year ago. Interestingly, in the emerging markets of China, Brazil and India, employers in nearly all industry sectors expect to slow the pace of hiring from this time last year—most notably in India. Meanwhile, in the world’s seven largest economies, hiring forecasts remain positive yet conservative in all countries except Italy where the outlook declines further into negative territory.
“There is so much uncertainty in the global labor market now and that is undermining employer hiring confidence. If these uncertainties — the debt crisis in Europe, rumblings of a slowdown in China, the U.S. presidential election and healthcare costs coming in that can’t be calculated — keep stacking up, we will see the global labor market’s slow, steady hiring mode shift to a pause,” said ManpowerGroup CEO & Chairman Jeffrey A. Joerres. “We’re seeing the beginning of that in the data for India with employers not shedding staff, but downshifting hiring considerably until they see more positive signals. In the U.S., employers remain confident enough to maintain the same steady hiring pace seen over the past year.”
ManpowerGroup’s global research indicates employers are most confident about adding employees the next three months in Taiwan, India, Panama, Brazil, Turkey and Peru, while those in Greece, Italy, Finland, Ireland, Spain, Slovakia, Netherlands, Czech Republic and Poland report the weakest and only negative hiring intentions worldwide.