Global Hiring Intentions Hold Steady from Q2, Drop Year-over-Year

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, June 13th, 2024

Global hiring intentions are holding strong for the third quarter of 2024, with a Net Employment Outlook (NEO) of 22%, though outlooks weaken since Q3 2023 according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. The Survey, which gathered data from over 40,000 employers across 42 countries between April 1-30, 2024, reveals that while the NEO remains unchanged from the previous quarter, it represents a -6% decline compared to the same period last year. This year-over-year decrease indicates that economic uncertainties continue to impact hiring plans.

Additionally, the Survey found that employers are beginning to identify the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) technologies. More than seven in 10 employers (72%) believe AI and ML will have a positive impact on business performance, especially in the IT and Financials and Real Estate industries. Most (70%) plan to leverage AI to boost upskilling, reskilling, and training efforts. 

"Though labor markets are holding strong in many markets, ongoing economic uncertainty continues to give employers pause," said Jonas Prising, ManpowerGroup Chairman & CEO. "Most are incrementally more cautious than this time last year, prioritizing hiring for the core skills they need. At the same time – the promise of AI advances is front of mind for businesses across every industry. This data shows organizations are focusing on upskilling their current workforce and maximizing the potential of AI to drive efficiencies and boost productivity."

Used internationally as a bellwether of labor market trends, the NEO is calculated by subtracting the percentage of employers who anticipate reductions in staffing levels from those who plan to hire.


  • Global hiring outlooks remain steady from Q2 to Q3 2024 at 22% but are down -6% year-over-year.

  • The strongest hiring plans are reported in Costa Rica (35%), Switzerland (34%), Guatemala (32%), and Mexico (32%), while the weakest outlooks are in Argentina and Romania, both at 3%.

  • Employers in the IT (29%), Financials & Real Estate (27%), and Health Care & Life Sciences (27%) sectors report the strongest hiring intentions.

  • Nearly half (48%) of companies said they have already adopted AI, including generative conversational AI. This is a 13% increase when compared to employers' responses one year ago (35%).

  • More than half (55%) of employers expect to increase headcount due to AI and machine learning over the next two years, nearly one in four (24%) believe there will be no impact, and 18% anticipate the technology will lead to staffing decreases.

  • Employers reveal that AI optimism varies by seniority, with senior leaders (69%) the most optimistic and factory floor and frontline workers (57%) the least optimistic.

  • Respondents cited high costs (33%), concerns about privacy and regulations (31%), and lack of employees with AI skills (31%) as among the top challenges in AI adoption.


North America: While North American employers remain the most optimistic with a 27% Outlook in Q3, hiring intentions have fallen -8% from Q3 2023 and -4% from last quarter.

  • Employers in the United States (30%) reported the strongest hiring intentions, though the outlook declines 5 percentage points year-over-year.

  • U.S. employers report one of the strongest global Outlooks for the IT sector at 50%.

Asia Pacific (APAC): Hiring managers across the region anticipate the second strongest regional Outlook (23%), a decline from both the previous quarter (-4%) and when compared year-over-year (-8%). 

  • Employers in India (30%) and China (28%) continue to report the strongest Outlooks in the region, while the most cautious Outlooks were reported by employers in Hong Kong (8%) and Japan (12%).

  • Hiring sentiment across the region varies depending on company sizes, as employers in organizations with more than 5,000 employees are four times more optimistic (32%) to hire than those with less than 10 employees (8%).

Central & South America: At 22%, hiring projections declined year-over-year (-7%), but improved +3% quarterly.

  • Strongest intentions are by employers in Costa Rica (35%), Guatemala (32%), and Mexico (32%).

  • Employers in Guatemala report the strongest hiring Outlook globally for both the IT** sector (55%) and the Consumer Goods & Services sector (54%), while Mexico has the strongest Outlook for the Communication Services sector (44%), and Costa Rica reports the strongest intentions in both the Financials & Real Estate (54%) and Healthcare & Life Sciences (46%) sectors.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA): Employers in EMEA report the lowest hiring outlook among all regions at 18%. While hiring intentions weakened -3% compared to the same period last year, they have strengthened by +2% since Q2 2024.

  • Employers in Switzerland (34%), South Africa (31%), and The Netherlands (28%) report the strongest hiring plans, while those in Romania (3%) and Israel (4%) anticipate the weakest hiring activity.
  • Globally, the Energy & Utilities sector shows the strongest hiring Outlook in Switzerland at 66%. In Irelandemployers report the strongest global Outlooks for both Transport, Logistics & Automotive (50%) and Industrials & Materials (47%).

To view the complete results for the third quarter 2024 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey, including regional and country data, visit: The next survey will be released in September and will report hiring expectations for the fourth quarter of 2024.