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The Employment trends in Q4 2020 to remain steady: Manpower Outlook Survey


New Delhi: According to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey released  of 813 employers across India indicates stable hiring plans for the upcoming three months as compared to the last quarter. Sectors which will lead the job market are likely to be the Public Administration followed by Finance, Insurance and Real Estate and Transportation and Utilities sectors. The strongest hiring pace is recorded in the Small sized organizations followed by the Medium sized and Large sized organizations. From a region perspective, North and East regions indicate a more positive outlook compared to the West and South. 


ManpowerGroup further extended its survey to include the impact of COVID resulting in the following outcome: 


  • Nearly 44% of employers reported that they may return to pre-COVID hiring within the next 9 months whereas 42% are unsure about returning back to normalcy from the hiring perspective. 
  • When asked about existing members of the workforce that have been placed on a job retention or furlough scheme, almost half (42%) of companies suggest they plan to bring them back with reduced hours, however, a portion (3%) indicate these staff will be let go


Mr. Sandeep Gulati, Group Managing Director of ManpowerGroup India said, “Corporate India is stabilizing with focus on Human Quotient as the core around which business decisions revolve. Post the ‘right sizing’ exercise aligning themselves to the current market demands, organizations are now looking at improving productivity, new forms of employee engagement, getting furloughed employees back and implementation of technology that are influencing the employment trends this quarter. Corporates are playing the “stand-by” game hoping for the festive season to bring them good news and while they do so ManpowerGroup alongwith our Alliance partners has released a Handbook to help India get back to work curating best practises of Safety protocols that certain sectors can inculcate as part of their back to work plan”


The Government is also trying to ease the burden on corporate India by providing various SOPs from production linked incentives to changes in the labour law and leniency on tax returns. We hope to see the impact of these reforms in the subsequent quarters”, added Mr. Gulati. 


The survey also highlights some of the long-lasting transformative effects that the pandemic has had on the workforce, as it asks employers how it expects their ways of working will change.

  • 40% of employers plan to offer remote work and flexible hours in the post-pandemic workplace, and around 25% planning to offer a hybrid model to employees.
  • However only 2% of employers expect to offer more opportunities for their employees to learn and develop new skills alongside more health and wellbeing benefits (6%) as the demands of workers shift with many hoping to leverage a hybrid-working model.


Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the fourth quarter of 2020 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters.


Sectoral Trends  

Over the last couple of months, the economy has begun to open. However, the current scenario of employment in India is still fluid with a distorted visibility of the future. The situation is changing every day. Technology will continue to play a key role in the post lockdown eco-system of work and the business landscape. 


According to our survey, India’s job market is stable indicated at +3%. 


Workforce gains are anticipated in six industry sectors out of seven during the upcoming quarter. Public Administration employers report the strongest hiring intentions with a Net Employment Outlook of +9%. Respectable payroll gains are also forecast in two sectors with Outlooks of +7% in the Finance, Insurance & Real Estate sector and Transportation & Utilities sector. The Mining and Construction sector indicates status quo while the Wholesale & Retail Trade sector and Services Sector indicate gains of +2% each and the Manufacturing Sector at +1%. When compared to the previous quarter, the Transport and Utilities sector has grown by +1% and Public Administration sector has shown improvement by +4% which is, indeed, noteworthy. Other than these, all other sectors have shown an overall decline in the hiring trends for Q4, 2020. 


India’s Regional Trends

A regional comparison of the trends shows Employers in all four regions expect to increase payrolls during the next three months. The strongest labor market is expected in the East, where the Net Employment Outlook is +5%. Elsewhere, limited job gains are anticipated in the

North, with an Outlook of +4%, and in both the South and the West, with Outlooks of +3%.

Hiring prospects improve by 2 percentage points in the East when compared with the previous quarter, while remaining relatively stable in the North and the South. In the West, the Outlook is unchanged.


Global Trends

ManpowerGroup interviewed over 38,000 employers in 43 countries and territories to anticipate hiring prospects* in the fourth quarter of 2020. All participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of December 2020 as compared to the current quarter?” Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak. The survey findings for the October to December 2020 period reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and the subsequent economic shutdown in many countries. 


Employers in 22 of the 43 countries and territories surveyed by ManpowerGroup expect to add to payrolls in the period up to the end of December 2020.  In 16 countries and territories employers expect to reduce payrolls, while flat hiring activity is forecast in five.  


When compared with the third quarter of 2020, hiring prospects improve in 37 countries and territories, but weaken in five, with no change reported in one. Employers in 41 countries and territories report weaker hiring plans when compared with this time one year ago, with no change in one and an improvement in one - Turkey. The strongest labor markets are expected in Taiwan, the United States, Turkey, Japan and Greece, while the weakest hiring intentions are reported in Panama, Costa Rica, South Africa, Colombia and the UK. 


Employers in five of the seven Asia Pacific countries and territories surveyed expect to grow payrolls during the final quarter of 2020, while a decrease is anticipated in two. Hiring plans strengthen in four of the region’s countries and territories when compared with the prior quarter but weaken in three.  In a comparison with the fourth quarter of 2019, employers report weaker hiring sentiment in six countries and territories. The strongest hiring activity for the coming quarter is expected in Taiwan and Japan, while the weakest labor markets are forecast in Singapore and Hong Kong.