Of the 41 countries and territories covered in Manpower Group's report, job prospects are set to weaken in 26 during the third quarter. Hiring expectations are most dismal in Greece, Ireland, Spain and Italy — all European countries that have either tapped international bailouts or are widely predicted to require one.
Globally, companies are only sporadically increasing as they wait to see how European rumblings — which now include a key election in Greece and a 100 billion-euro rescue plan in Spain — pan out.
"In labor markets around the world, we are seeing companies hire in a start-stop mode with no real consistency," said Jeffrey A. Joerres, chief executive of Manpower, an employment services company.
In countries such as India and Taiwan, however, hiring is expected to surge as the retail and tourism sectors look for talent. Government plans to add public positions made for a buoyant forecast in Turkey as well.
The employment situation is also looking up in the U.S., despite recent dour data that pushed the jobless rate up to 8.2%.
Manpower's index for American hiring predictions climbed to 11%. That's a four-year high and the first time since 2008 that every industry and all four regions nationally expected positive hiring trends two quarters in a row. The leisure and hospitality sector, which includes hotels and restaurants, is expected to lead the increase.
During the second quarter, the index was at 10%; a year ago, it was at 8%. This time, in the 11th straight quarter of optimism, 92% of employers said they planned to either increase head count or keep it stable.
Manpower surveyed 18,000 bosses in the U.S.
In the Los Angeles, Long Beach and Santa Ana areas, hiring is expected to keep a healthy pace, with 94% of companies saying they won't reduce staff.