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Recrutiment & Employment Confederation

JobsOutlook: Hiring spree set to continue into 2022 as employer confidence stays high

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In the three months to August, business confidence in their ability to hire new staff and make investment decisions remained high at net: +25, according to new Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) data. This remains a historically high rate of improvement, though the pace is lower than in the previous rolling quarter.

The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey found that this confidence has boosted the number of employers looking for new permanent staff. Hiring intentions over the next three months rose by three percentage points to net: +25, while demand for the next 4-12 months also increased to net: +30. Demand for temporary staff is also high at net: +17 in the short term and net: +10 in the medium term – although it has slowed from the previous rolling quarter.

With demand for staff remaining high, the current labour shortages look set to continue for some time.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“Businesses’ confidence levels remain robust and that has led to sky-high demand for workers. Demand is still growing for both temporary and permanent staff, but permanent hiring now leads the way after starting its recovery much later than for temps. This pattern follows the model of previous recoveries.

“This survey suggests that firms remained confident in late August that capacity constraints would not slow the recovery down. Given the events of the past week, we will be watching next month’s numbers to see whether that starts to change. It was good to see the government listening to business and introducing some measures to help ease HGV driver shortages over the weekend – though driving is not the only sector being severely affected by labour shortages. We’d like to see a collaborative approach going forward, with government departments and industry experts coming together in a joint forum to try and resolve this crisis.”

Other key figures from the latest JobsOutlook include:

  • Business confidence in the UK economy rose by one percentage point to net: +19, suggesting that issues caused by worker shortages don't appear to have dented confidence in the econmy overall.
  • In August, six in ten (58%) who recruit temporary agency workers were experiencing a shortage of suitable candidates to fill current roles.


Notes to editors:

JobsOutlook is produced by the REC in partnership with Savanta ComRes. Savanta ComRes interviewed 600 UK employers involved in hiring by telephone between 1 June and 31 August 2021. Data were weighted to be representative of UK adults in employment by region, broad industry sector and public/private split. Savanta ComRes is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Data tables are available at

For more information and interview enquiries, contact the REC Press Office on 020 7009 2157, 020 7009 2129 or Outside of regular office hours, please call 07702 568 829.

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The REC is the voice of the recruitment industry, speaking up for great recruiters. We drive standards and empower recruitment businesses to build better futures for great candidates and themselves. We are champions of an industry which is fundamental to the strength of the UK economy.

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