Belgian employers continue to report very optimistic hiring plans for Q2 2022

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The Net Employment Outlook for Belgium is unchanged from the previous quarterand stands at a record level of +34%, the third best score in Europe.


According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Survey released today, hiring pace will remain strong during the second quarter of 2022.  Based on the survey conducted with 515 employers in January(1),  almost one in two Belgian employers (47%) plan to increase their headcount by the end of June 2022, while only 13% plan to reduce their headcount. 39% of employers surveyed anticipate no change.

After seasonal adjustment, the Net Employment Outlook(2)– or the difference between the percentage of employers anticipating hires and the percentage anticipating layoffs – rises to a very optimistic +34%, the same as in the previous quarter and the strongest level since the survey began in 2003. This is a strong increase of 25 percentage points from the 2nd Quarter 2021.



“While the labour market is recovering from the shock of the coronavirus crisis, employers are already facing a new context of economic and political instability at a global level and this will have an impact on growth,” explains Sébastien Delfosse, Managing Director of ManpowerGroup BeLux.

The Net Employment Outlook reported by employers in our survey remains very optimistic. At the same time, employers continue to have difficulty filling their vacancies because of the persistent gap between the skills required and those available. It is imperative to help companies and take action to increase the employment rate more quickly, by improving activation and return-to-work policies, by putting more emphasis on the development of transferable skills (soft skills) in a changing environment, and by anticipating transitions, particularly towards jobs where there are shortages, digital positions and the sustainable economy.”



Very optimistic hiring intentions in all three regions

Employers in all three regions report very optimistic hiring intentions: +36% in Flanders, +34% in Brussels and +30% in Wallonia. Compared to the previous quarter, the Net Employment Outlook declines in Flanders and Brussels (by 7 and 8 percentage points), while it increases in Wallonia (by 9 percentage points).



Positive job prospects in all 10 sectors surveyed

Job seekers and candidates looking for new career challenges are likely to have many opportunities in Q2 2022.  Hiring intentions are positive in all 10 industry sectors surveyed by ManpowerGroup and improving in four sectors in comparison with the previous quarter and in all sectors in comparison with the second quarter of 2021.

Employers in the Other Services sector (45 %) report the strongest Net Employment Outlooks. These employers include specialists in professional, scientific, technical, and administrative activities. The hiring pace is also expected to be strong in the Construction sector (+40%), the IT, Technology, Telecoms, Communications & Media sector (+39%), as well as the Primary Production sector (+37%) – Agriculture & Fishing, Electricity, Gas & Water, Mining & Quarrying –, the Finance, Banking, Insurance & Real Estate sector (+35%), and the Wholesale & Retail Trade/Supply Chain & Logistics sector (+33%). Employers anticipate more moderate hiring activity in the Manufacturing sector (+30%), Education, Health, Social Work and Government (+26%), Restaurants & Hotels / Culture & Leisure (+26%) and Other Industries (+22%).

“We should highlight the positive signs coming from the Horeca sector, where nearly 4 out of 10 employers plan to strengthen their workforce again by the end of June,” adds Sébastien Delfosse.



Positive job prospects in all four business segments

According to the ManpowerGroup survey, the Net Employment Outlook is positive in all four business segments: +25% for Micro businesses  (< 10 employees), +38% for Small businesses (10-49 employees), +40% for Medium-sized companies (50-249 employees) and +31% for Large companies (≥ 250 employees).



Positive hiring confidence in 39 of the 40 countries and territories surveyed

Except for Greece, where employers expect to see a small decrease in payrolls, all 40 countries surveyed report positive second-quarter hiring intentions. Hiring sentiment weakens in 33 out of 40 since the last quarter, while Outlooks improve in 36 countries in a year-over-year comparison. The strongest hiring plans for the next three months are reported in Brazil (+40%), Sweden (+38%), India, (+38%), Mexico (+38%), and Colombia (38%).

Hiring trends continue to be positive in the EMEA region, where employers in 22 of the 23 countries surveyed anticipate adding jobs during the next three months. However, job prospects are weaker in 20 countries than in the previous quarter but are also stronger in 20 countries when compared with one year ago.

At +34%, Belgium’s Net Employment Outlook is well above the EMEA average (+22%) and ranks third in the region behind Sweden (+38%) and the Netherlands (+36%). Hiring sentiment is more moderate in the majority of countries surveyed and the larger European economies, including the United Kingdom (+31%), France (+23%), Germany (+22%) and Italy (+16%).  The weakest forecasts in the region are reported in Romania (+7%), Poland (+5%), and Greece (-2%).

Elsewhere in the world, hiring plans remain robust in the United States (+35%), and more moderate in China (+28%) and weak in Taiwan (+7%) and in Japan (+6%).



The results of the next ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey will be released on 14th June 2022 and will report hiring expectations for Q3 2022.

 (1) The ManpowerGroup survey was conducted in Janurary 2022

(2)  “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 expecting to see a decrease in employment at their location in the next quarter. The result of this calculation is the Net Employment Outlook. Net Employment Outlooks for countries and territories that have accumulated at least 17 quarters of data are reported in a seasonally adjusted format unless otherwise stated. Seasonally adjusted data are not available for Croatia.


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