The Great Q4 Hiring Bounceback: Employers In Many Markets Report Strongest Hiring Outlooks Since Before The Pandemic, Record High Talent Shortages Continue

September 14, 2021 at 12:01 AM EDT
- Hiring outlooks reach 10+ year high for 14 of 43 markets
- Strongest hiring prospects are reported in the U.S. (+48%), India (+44%) and Canada (+40%), the weakest in Panama (-2%), South Africa (-2%) and Singapore (+1%)
- 69% of employers globally report experiencing difficulty filling roles - a 15-year high for the second consecutive quarter

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Employers in all 43 countries report stronger hiring intentions year-over-year with 14 reporting Outlooks at a ten-year high according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (NYSE: MAN) of nearly 45,000 employers. Finding skilled talent remains a top challenge for employers globally – 69% report difficulty filling vacancies – a 15-year high for the second consecutive quarter. To overcome this 67% are offering greater flexibility; both in work schedules and where work gets done while 41% are investing in training, skills development and mentoring.


  • Markets bounce back: The strongest year-on-year improvements are reported in the Netherlands (+41%), India (+40%) and the UK (+39%).
  • Record hiring intentions reported in many countries: employers in 15 countries report their highest hiring outlook since the survey began; Austria, Belgium, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden and the UK and U.S.
  • Global talent shortage shows no sign of easing: 69% of employers globally cannot find the skills that they need, with employers in India (89%), Romania (84%), and Singapore (84%) reporting the greatest difficulty.
  • Technical skills and career coaching are a key focus for HR leaders: A quarter of employers plan to invest in accelerated upskilling (12 weeks or less) for employees and 21% plan to launch career coaching programs in the next six months.
  • Barriers to upskilling: As more employers plan to upskill workers, money (22%), time (18%) and access to the right partners (13%) are cited as the biggest barriers businesses face.

"This recovery is unlike any we have seen before with hiring intent picking up much faster than after the previous economic downturn," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman and CEO.  "As vaccine rollouts gain momentum and lockdown restrictions ease in many markets, we're seeing sharp increases in hiring optimism reported by employers. At the same time, some workers are hesitant to re-engage with employers as factors including health concerns and childcare challenges continue. Continued talent shortages mean many businesses are prioritizing retaining and training workers with the skills they need to succeed as the economic recovery continues."

View the complete Q4 2021 ManpowerGroup Employment Survey results: 

Global Hiring Plans by Region

AMERICAS: Nine out of 10 countries report a positive employment outlook for Q4.

  • Hiring intentions improve in eight countries when compared to Q3, weakening in one (Panama), and when compared to this time last year, improve in all 10 countries.
  • The U.S. reports the strongest hiring intention globally and regionally (+48%), with Canada (+40%). The weakest prospects in the region are reported in Panama (-2%), Argentina (+4%) and Peru (+5%).
  • For the U.S., in all 12 industry sectors, hiring intentions are the highest since analysis began, (1982 for Construction, Durable Goods Manufacturing, Nondurable Goods Manufacturing, Transportation and Utilities, and Retail and Trade, and 2009 for remaining seven).

EMEA: The region reports its strongest quarter since the pandemic began, with positive hiring intentions in 25 out of 26 countries.

  • Hiring intentions improve in all 26 countries when compared with Q4 2020 and improve in 20 when compared to Q3 2021.
  • Strongest hiring intentions are in Netherlands (+40%), France (+37%) and Ireland (+34%) and the weakest in South Africa (-2%), Croatia (+2%) and Switzerland (+8%).
  • In all seven UK industry sectors, employers report their strongest hiring intentions since 2008, and similarly, in seven of France's industry sectors, employers report their strongest hiring intentions since the survey began 18 years ago. 

APAC: In comparison to the previous quarter, hiring plans strengthen in three countries (India, Hong Kong and Japan) and weaken in four (Australia, China, Singapore, Japan).

  • Strongest outlooks are in India (+44%), Taiwan (+21%) and Japan (+16%), and the most cautious plans are reported in Singapore (+1%) and Hong Kong (+8%).
  • India reports record high hiring intentions, improving +37 percentage points compared to Q3, and +40% on the previous year.
  • Singapore expects hiring intentions to dip in five out of seven industry sectors, with wholesale and trade experiencing its worst outlook since the survey began (-20%).

To view complete results for the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, visit: The next survey will be released December 14, 2021, and will report hiring expectations for Q1 2022.


The Employment Outlook Survey has been conducted quarterly since 1962 and is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind, used globally as a key economic indicator. The 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. Seasonal adjustments have been applied for countries and territories that have accumulated at least 17 quarters of data, Croatia being the exception. The survey fieldwork for this quarter was conducted in July 2021.


The methodology used to collect the data for the Employment Outlook changed for 14 countries this quarter:  Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Mexico Netherlands, Norway, Singapore, Spain, UK and U.S. Survey responses are now being collected online by Reputation Leaders. Respondents are members of double opt-in online panels and are incentivized to complete the survey. Infocorp carried out the survey via telephone with the remaining 29 countries. The question asked and the respondent profile remains unchanged. Size of organization and sector are standardized across all countries to allow international comparisons.


ManpowerGroup® (NYSE: MAN), the leading global workforce solutions company, helps organizations transform in a fast-changing world of work by sourcing, assessing, developing and managing the talent that enables them to win. We develop innovative solutions for hundreds of thousands of organizations every year, providing them with skilled talent while finding meaningful, sustainable employment for millions of people across a wide range of industries and skills. Our expert family of brands – Manpower, Experis and Talent Solutions – creates substantially more value for candidates and clients across more than 75 countries and territories and has done so for over 70 years. We are recognized consistently for our diversity - as a best place to work for Women, Inclusion, Equality and Disability and in 2021 ManpowerGroup was named one of the World's Most Ethical Companies for the 12th year - all confirming our position as the brand of choice for in-demand talent.

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SOURCE ManpowerGroup

Emma Almond, +1 (414) 544-1489,