Manpower sentiment survey background


2 Aug 2009.

The Manpower sentiment survey (seasonally adjusted excess of percent planning to expand over percent planning to contract) is one of the more frequently mentioned leading indicators for employment. The 1989 - 2007 range was 2% to 25%.


Entries below covered through 10 Jun 2008.

  • Definition (8 Dec 2007) Manpower surveys 14,000 employers and asks whether they plan to increase or decrease their workforce. The percent planning to contract is subtracted from the percent planning to expand to get the raw sentiment preceding each quarter. The number normally reported in the news is a seasonally adjusted version.
  • Longer term (2 Aug 2009) See the 8 Dec 2007 entry for a longer term view. The seasonally adjusted sentiment ranges from about 2% to 25%.


See also

Manpower survey of employer plans methodology

7 Sep 2007. Manpower website, methods section of Q3 2007 survey results.

“The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly to measure employers’ intentions to increase or decrease the number of employees in their workforces during the next quarter. The survey has been running for more than 40 years and is one of the most trusted surveys of employment activity in the world. … The survey is based on interviews with nearly 52,000 public and private employers across 27 countries and territories [14,000 in US] to measure anticipated employment trends each quarter. This sample allows for analysis to be performed across specific sectors and regions to provide more detailed information. The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is conducted using a validated methodology, in accordance with the highest standards in market research. The research team for the 27 countries and territories where the survey is currently conducted includes Manpower’s Market Intelligence team; the Organization Research and Analysis Division of Right Management Consultants – an independent operating division of Manpower Inc.; NOP World, Grupo IDM, DATUM Research and SEL Consultores.The survey has been structured to be representativeof each national economy. The margin of error for all national, regional and global data is not greater than +/- 3.9%. All employers participating in the survey worldwide are asked the same question, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of September 2007 as compared to the current quarter?” Throughout this report, we use the term “Net Employment Outlook.” This figure is derived by taking the percentage of employers anticipating an increase in hiring activity and subtracting from this the percentage of employers that expect to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter. The result of this calculation is the Net Employment Outlook. Seasonal adjustments have been applied to the data for Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States to provide additional insight into the survey data. These adjustments make it possible to review the data without the employment fluctuations that normally occur at the same time each year, thus providing a clearer picture of the data over time. Manpower intends to add seasonal adjustments to the data for other countries in the future, as more historical data is compiled.”

Manpower sentiment survey longer term view

8 Dec 2007. Manpower web site.

[For a longer term perspective of the survey results, 1989-2007, see the graph at the above link.]