Three out of four Israeli employers predict the labor market will be slowing down and intend to limit or halt hiring new employees, according to a survey by global jobs company Manpower. This is the first time Manpower's survey has included Israel.

After three quarters of rapid economic growth, it seems like things will be slowing down in the fourth quarter amid the specter of a global recession, said Dalia Narkis, Manpower Israel chairwoman.

Manpower surveyed 757 employers in Israel's public and private sectors, and found that only 25% expect to expand their workforce in the final quarter. Another 9% say they expect to reduce the number of employees, while 58% say they will be holding steady.

On average, employers expect their number of employees to expand by a net 16% in the fourth quarter, compared to 23% in the third quarter.

"Demand for employees expanded throughout the economy in the third quarter," noted Narkis. Now the trend is expected to change, she said. Over the next quarter, companies will seek out more temporary employees in fields such as sales and gift-wrapping, as they generally do over the Jewish holidays, she said.

The outlook is most positive in the financial, insurance, real estate and business service industries, where employers expect to increase their workforce by a net 29% on average. After that comes the public sector, at 28%; the construction sector, at 18%; and production and retail, at 16%. At the bottom of the list is restaurants and hotels, which expect to increase their workforce by only 9%; and mining, at 1%.