Global Hiring Plans Begin to Recover

September 18, 2020

Employer hiring plans are rebounding, but companies in just 22 of the 43 countries surveyed by ManpowerGroup expect to add to payrolls in the fourth quarter of 2020.  However, U.S. hiring plans are among the strongest for now, with the number of U.S. job openings having jumped back to recovery levels.

The latest ManpowerGroup global hiring report finds the strongest hiring pace is anticipated in Taiwan, the U.S., Turkey, and Japan, while Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, and Colombia forecast the weakest labor markets.

U.S. hiring plans have increased across all 12 industry sectors, with 20% of employers expecting to grow payrolls in the fourth quarter of 2020, while 8% anticipate a decrease and 67% expect no change.  Leisure and hospitality (+22%), transportation and utilities (+19%), wholesale and retail trade (+18%), education and health services (+15%), and professional and business services (+15%) are expected to be the strongest business sectors.

Both global and U.S. employers expect a slower recovery to pre-pandemic hiring levels—13% believe hiring will not return to pre-pandemic levels until after July 2021 and 18% believe there will be no return to normal.

Separately, the Department of Labor has reported U.S. job openings have rebounded to pre-COVID 2019 levels, with over 6.6 million job openings.  However, there are still over two unemployed Americans for every job opening.

Outlook:  U.S. layoffs have dropped to pre-COVID levels, the hiring rate is near record levels, and the quits rate has rebounded sharply, suggesting the U.S. job market is quickly climbing out of the deep hole it dropped into in April.  At the current hiring pace, the U.S. will have recovered all of the jobs it lost during the pandemic by March 2021.  However, the pace of hiring is expected to slow, and it may be the end of 2021 before the labor market completely recovers.