New data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) suggests that businesses are starting to have a more positive outlook towards hiring following the general election.
According to the latest JobsOutlook report, employers’ confidence in the UK economy rose to a net two percentage points higher than the previous rolling quarter. In view of this, their confidence in making hiring and investment decisions also improved, rising by four percentage in the same period.
In particular, confidence levels in December were significantly higher than the previous two months – business confidence in the economy and in hiring rose to net: -26 and net: +9 respectively.
Despite confidence levels increasing after the general election, businesses are still rightly concerned about skills shortages – almost half (49%) of employers expected to find a shortage of workers for permanent roles. Employers were most concerned about sectors like construction, engineering, health and social care, which could be particularly affected by the government’s plans for a more restrictive immigration policy.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the Recruitment & Employment Confederation, said:
“Greater clarity about the future means that businesses are less likely to sit on their hands when it comes to hiring in early 2020. JobsOutlook clearly reflects the feedback we have been getting, showing hirers have been more ready to take action from December on. Making sure that this swing in confidence persists will require a good deal with the EU that addresses services as well as goods.
Given the candidate shortages many firms are experiencing, we will also need progress on effective skills and immigration policies. A reformed apprenticeship levy and a managed immigration policy must work for the whole economy – and include a temporary work route to meet the need for workers in crucial services and industries.”