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The Employment Outlook Survey for Q4 2023 Explained

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Our quarterly employment outlook survey is out and despite the talent shortage, inflation and a low U.S. unemployment rate, we’re pleased to report that a sizable number of major companies are planning to add to staff in the 4th quarter. A full 49% of respondents to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Surveyreported the intention to hire new employees in the fourth quarter of 2023. This is the third straight quarter of gains.

Our quarterly Employment Outlook Survey measures employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their payrolls in the October-December time period. Now in its 61st year, it’s the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind, used globally as a key economic indicator.    

The Net Employment Outlook (NEO) for the U.S. stands at +36%. That’s a 1-point jump from Q3 and 3 points higher than Q4 2022. The NEO realizes the difference between the percentage of employers planning to increase staff in the quarter minus the percentage expected to decrease staff.    

For the eighth straight quarter, the strongest hiring expectations are in the Information Technology sector, where 56% of employers plan to add to staff. The sector with the largest increase since the previous quarter is Communication Services with a change of +22 percentage points.     

This map diagram regional differences as compared to last quarter and last year.   


Globally, the Net Employment Outlook for the U.S. ties for 4th in the world; six points above the world average. The strongest hiring plans for the fourth quarter of 2023 are predicted in Costa Rica (+41). Tied for second are Brazil and Switzerland (+38).    

Finally, this quarter’s report includes statistics regarding the difficulty of finding skilled talent. Overall, 75% of U.S. employers reported having “some” or “a lot of” difficulty finding the talent they need.   

The full report breaks down the talent shortage by industry, top soft skills needed by industry, and more. Access the Q4 2023 Employment Outlook Survey to help you make the smartest decisions for your organization.    

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