UK recruitment ‘ambitious’ hiring plans dampened by low economic confidence

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UK recruitment 'ambitious' hiring plans dampened by economic confidence

Confidence in the UK economy has dropped which is curtailing businesses’ “ambitious” hiring plans.

This is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) JobsOutlook report which shows that confidence in the economy is -31 whereas employer’s intentions to hire permanent staff in the short term rose to +24 and intentions to hire temporary agency workers to remain strong at +10.

However, the broader economic concerns such as Brexit and Trump’s trade wars are dampening this desire to take on new people.

Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said:

These figures show the damage that political indecision is causing to business confidence. Companies are ready to hire, invest and grow – but the lack of a clear path ahead means that more and more are thinking twice. Whether it is Brexit or the spill over from Trump’s trade war, politicians need to prioritise jobs and growth over ideology.

It is in uncertain times like these that the value the recruitment industry brings is most visible. Businesses rely on the expert advice recruiters offer, while candidates get help to navigate a more uncertain market with confidence. Temporary work is an important part of this – keeping people working and the economy going in uncertain times. Temps are a key part of the labour market, and we must make sure government policy protects them. The REC is urging government to rethink its approach to IR35 changes, and to ensure new employment laws work for all forms of employment – not just those on a permanent, fixed-hours contract.

The report also found that 74 per cent of employers have little or no surplus workforce capacity, with this number rising to 82 per cent in large companies.

Over half (52 per cent) of employers have concerns regarding the availability of permanent staff during this quarter.

The JobsOutlook report is produced by the REC in partnership with ComRes, a market research consultancy, who asked 600 UK employers involved in hiring by telephone between July 1st and September 30th.

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