Employer confidence slumps


The latest JobsOutlook survey from the REC (which took place between 27th September and 18th December 2017), is out. It asked 600 employers a range of questions around the economic state of the nation to reveal that their outlook is the bleakest it’s been since the referendum, with a net balance of -14.

35% said they think the country’s economic conditions are getting worse, whilst 22% think they are improving. And the net balance of hiring and investment decisions has also fallen by two points to nine.

34% say political and economic uncertainty is the main challenge to their business. Whilst a shortage of suitable candidates for jobs is the main challenge for 24% of employers. 

The number of employers who responded ‘don’t know’ when asked about short-term hiring intentions for temporary staff, has increased noticeably to 27% from 9% at the same point last year. And the net balance of employers who plan to increase their permanent staff over the next three months has fallen from 19 (in January 2017) to 14.

As to who has the strongest reaction to uncertainty? Employers in London seem to, with 49% being unsure about the number of temporary workers in their organisation in the next three months. The number of employers transferring more than half of their temporary staff to permanent status has also gone down (5% in January 2018 compared to 16% at the same point last year). 

REC chief executive Kevin Green said, “It looks like political uncertainty is a serious problem for British businesses as they start the new year. The government’s inability to conclude Brexit negotiations is having an impact on employers' decision making.  

“Confidence in the economy is dropping and we now see this is starting to affect hiring intentions as more employers are unsure about the impact of Brexit on the economy. 

“We’ve got record highs for both the number of vacancies and the number of people in employment but finding candidates is becoming more challenging. So the question is, where will we find these people? 

“Businesses need clarity about a post-Brexit immigration system. The government has done nothing over the past few months to reassure employers about the status of their EU staff, or if they will be able to have access to non-UK workers in the medium term. If the government wants to secure prosperity for the UK they have to lead the country at this uncertain time. The clock is ticking for the UK labour market."

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

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Employer confidence slumps