Employer confidence rises but hiring plans remain cautious – REC

Filed under Press release

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Employer confidence in the economy has improved, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). The net balance of employers who think economic conditions are getting better over worse grew seven points since March, but remains negative at -3. Twenty-nine per cent of employers think economic conditions are worsening and 26 per cent think they are improving.  


Despite the improvement in employer confidence, permanent hiring plans remain on a downwards trajectory with only 14 per cent of employers planning increases in the short-term, down from 22 per cent this time last year. 


However, more employers are certain about their temporary hiring plans. Just 12 per cent don’t know their short-term plans, down from 18 per cent in March and 34 per cent in February. 


The survey of 600 employers also shows:


  • Availability of temporary agency workers is becoming a bigger problem with nearly half (47 per cent) of employers believing there will be a shortage of appropriate candidates in any of the sectors they cover, up from a third (35 per cent) last month. 
  • The proportion of employers who increased headcount (44 per cent) or pay (47 per cent) in the previous year has been falling since June 2017, likely as a result of the decline in employer confidence since the EU referendum.


REC director of policy Tom Hadley says: 


“The boosted mood of employers is an important step forward, especially as permanent hiring has been on a downwards trajectory. This more positive vibe will hopefully see more businesses growing their teams and ramping up their hiring plans. 


“However, we can’t get ahead of ourselves. Too many employers still feel down about the economy. Even if they want to expand their workforce, they are worried about finding the workers they need, especially for temporary roles. Short-term placements are crucial for jobs that are seasonal or project-based, like hotel staff during holiday season, or construction workers on major infrastructure projects. 


“Employers in hospitality, construction and health especially rely on temporary workers from the EU and will suffer if they can’t access them. The post-Brexit immigration system has to reflect the importance of temporary staff and ensure that processes are as quick and efficient as possible.”




Notes to editors:  


1. For more information, contact the REC Press Office on 0207 009 2157/2192 or pressoffice@rec.uk.com. An ISDN line is available for interviews on 0207 021 0584.


2. JobsOutlook is produced by the REC in partnership with ComRes. ComRes interviewed 600 UK employers and owners involved in hiring by telephone between 5th January and 28th March 2018. Data were weighted to be representative of UK adults in employment by region, broad industry sector and public / private sector split. ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available at www.comresglobal.com


3. Jobs transform lives, which is why we are building the best recruitment industry in the world. As the professional body for recruitment we’re determined to make businesses more successful by helping them secure the people they need. We are absolutely passionate and totally committed in this pursuit for recruiters, employers, and the people they hire. Find out more about the Recruitment & Employment Confederation at www.rec.uk.com

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