ZURICH (Reuters) — Adecco, the world's largest temporary staffing group, said there were challenges ahead in Europe as top market France and other eurozone countries looked unlikely to emerge anytime soon from the paralyzing debt crisis.
"Revenue development in July was slightly weaker, mainly driven by France and Japan... Europe is weakening further," the Swiss company said, adding it would continue to focus on price discipline and cost control.
Temporary employment is seen as a leading indicator for wider labour markets. Many employers have been reluctant to commit to full-time hiring, preferring temporary workers as a way of staying flexible in case the recovery falters.
Joblessness remains stubbornly high in the United States, while European governments are imposing searing budget cuts and battle record high unemployment.
Europe's biggest economies endured another torrid month in July as businesses battled slumping demand. Purchasing managers indexes (PMIs), which gauge business activity and have a good record of tracking economic growth, showed order books at eurozone companies shrivelled last month as a downturn in Germany and France became more entrenched.
Adecco, which provides staff for the London Olympics, reported a four per cent drop in sales to 5.20 billion euros, with France, Iberia, Italy and Japan posting double-digit falls.
Even Germany, so far Europe's growth driver, slipped one per cent. North America bucked the trend with a two per cent rise, driven by professional staffing.
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