Indian Employers Expect Hiring to Remain Steady in April-June but Projects at Considerably Slower Pace

According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released today by ManpowerGroup, the survey of 4,389 employers across India indicates that the hiring activity is expected to remain steady. In fact, employers in only three other countries report more optimistic second-quarter hiring plans than those in India. However, India’s Net Employment Outlook has now dipped by varying margins for five consecutive quarters, and opportunities for job seekers are expected to be considerably weaker than they were a year ago at this time.

AG Rao, Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India said, “The hiring outlook will move at a slow but steady pace as the Indian companies gauge the impact of the ongoing global slowdown compounded by automation in the IT sector and talent scarcity for niche skills. However, there will be great demand for high- skill jobs for the new positions created by automation. The government is putting efforts towards creating jobs and making India a manufacturing hub. Budget 2017 is further expected to favor more foreign investments in India and initiatives like ‘Make in India’ should drive global companies to set-up manufacturing facilities in India.

“Today companies are moving towards artificial intelligence and are best utilizing technology to drive innovation in order to support the successful integration of new technology. In the current employment scenario, job-seekers need to up-skill and diversify into new areas. Skills adjacency, agility and learnability — all of these characteristics are crucial to demonstrating the desire and ability to learn new skills to become and stay employable throughout long career journeys,” added, Rao.

Sectoral Trends

Workforce gains are anticipated in all seven industry sectors during the coming quarter. The strongest hiring prospects are reported in the Services sector where employers report a Net Employment Outlook of +22%. Healthy hiring activity is also forecast by employers in two sectors with Outlooks of +21% – the Public Administration and Education sector and the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector. Manufacturing sector employers expect steady payroll gains, reporting an Outlook of +16%, while Outlooks of +15% are reported in both the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Mining & Construction sector. Meanwhile, Transportation & Utilities sector employers report the most cautious Outlook of +10%.

Hiring intentions weaken in six of the seven industry sectors when compared with 1Q 2017. Transportation & Utilities sector employers report the most noteworthy decline of 9 percentage points, while Outlooks are 7 and 6 percentage points weaker in the Mining and Construction sector and the Manufacturing sector, respectively. However, employers in the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector report no quarter-over-quarter change.

When compared with this time one year ago, Outlooks decline in all seven industry sectors. Sharp declines of 27 and 24 percentage points are reported in the Manufacturing sector and the Mining and Construction sector, respectively, while the Outlook for the Transportation and Utilities sector is 21 percentage points weaker. Services sector employers report a decrease of 19 percentage points and Outlooks decline by 17 and 14 percentage points in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and the Wholesale and Retail Trade sector, respectively.

India’s Regional Trends

Employers in all four regions anticipate an increase in staffing levels during 2Q 2017, with the strongest labor market forecast for the South, where the Net Employment Outlook is +29%. Elsewhere, steady payroll gains are expected in the North and the West, with Outlooks of +18% and +15%, respectively, while the Outlook for the East stands at +12%.

When compared with the previous quarter, Outlooks decline by 5 percentage points in both the North and the East, while employers in the West report a decrease of 4 percentage points. Meanwhile, employers in the South report relatively stable hiring intentions.

Outlooks weaken in all four regions when compared with the second quarter of 2016. Steep declines of 26 and 25 percentage points are reported in the East and the West, respectively. Elsewhere, employers in the North report a decrease of 16 percentage points while the Outlook for the South is 12 percentage points weaker.

Global Trends

ManpowerGroup’s second-quarter research reveals that employers in 39 of 43 countries and territories intendto add to their payrolls by varying degrees in the April-June time frame.* Overall, opportunities for job seekers are expected to remain similar to those available in the first three months of 2017, with employers in most countries and territories signaling that they are content to either maintain current staffing levels or engage in modest levels of payroll growth while they monitor ongoing developments in the marketplace.

Hiring plans improve in 17 of 43 countries and territories when compared quarter-over-quarter, decline in 15, and are unchanged in 11. The year-over-year trend reveals a more pronounced uptick with outlooks strengthens in 25 countries and territories, weakens in 14, and remaining unchanged in three. ** Second-quarter hiring confidence is strongest in Taiwan, Japan, Slovenia and India. The weakest forecasts are reported in Brazil, Italy, Belgium and Switzerland.

Staffing levels are expected to grow in 22 of 25 countries in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region. Outlooks improve in 12 countries quarter-over-quarter, weaken in six and are unchanged in seven. In a year-over-year comparison, Outlooks improve in 18 countries and decline in only six.  Job seekers in Slovenia, Hungary and Romania stand to benefit from the strongest employer hiring plans in the EMEA region.

Payrolls are expected to increase in all eight Asia Pacific countries and territories. When compared to the prior quarter, Net Employment Outlooks decline in three countries and territories, are unchanged in four, and improve in only one. In a year-over-year comparison the hiring pace is expected to improve by varying margins in four countries and territories and decline in the remaining four. For the second consecutive quarter, employers in Taiwan report the most optimistic forecast in the region—as well as across the globe—while for the fourth consecutive quarter employers in China report the region’s weakest forecast.

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