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Job hopes in the US at lowest since 1982

A MEASURE of employment expectations in the United States has fallen to its lowest level since 1982, amid fresh evidence that the job market slowdown is rapidly becoming a global phenomenon, according to a quarterly survey released by Manpower Inc yesterday.

The staffing services company said that its net employment outlook for the second quarter of 2009 fell to a level of minus 1, from 10 last quarter and 15 in the second quarter of 2008.

The index measures employers who plan to add jobs and those who plan to cut them.

"It's a global phenomenon," said Manpower Chief Executive Jeff Joerres. "It really compounds the effect of the downturn when the whole world gets into it at the same time."

Manpower's US survey, based on interviews with about 32,000 employers, dates back to 1962 and is considered a leading indicator of labor trends.

Its international survey of 72,000 employers found 23 out of 33 countries and territories reporting their weakest hiring plans since the poll was established there.

In the Asia-Pacific region, some of the weakest prospects were in Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and New Zealand, while employers in India were more optimistic than three months ago, possibly reflecting the outsourcing of some service jobs.


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