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Employer confidence in the economy has rebounded

29/05/18 Peter Livingstone Director

Employer confidence in the economy has rebounded, turning positive for the first time since last summer, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The REC’s monthly findings released last week, show that the proportion of employers who believe economic conditions in the UK are improving outnumbers those who think they are getting worse.

Almost a third (30%) of employers are more confident in the future prospects of the UK economy, in comparison to 29%, who believe the economy is getting worse. The finding also found that 32% of employers are feeling confident to make hiring and investment decisions.

However, employers still show signs of uncertainty in committing to permanent hiring plans overall, though 41% are using contract and interim workers to manage any uncertainty – up 9% on the same period last year.

As official ONS figures revealed this week that regular pay growth is above inflation compared with the previous year, employers have to compete with each other to attract candidates. Just under half (46%) of UK employers expressed concerns over the sufficient availability of candidates for permanent hire.

REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “It is encouraging that employers are feeling more optimistic about the UK economy and that this is having a positive impact on hiring intentions of temporary staff.

“This underlines the importance of a vibrant temporary and contract staffing market in times of uncertainty and is good news for workers who seek more flexibility in their careers to fit around their studies or family life.

“At the same time, employers are reporting increasing concerns with regards over the lack of candidates for key roles. This requires a twin-track approach from government: delivering on the commitment to ramp up the UK skills base, whilst also developing an evidence-based post-Brexit immigration systems that maintain access to workers from the EU.

The UK jobs market remains a success story but we must act now to address looming challenges that will impact on both demand and supply of staff.”

Peter Livingstone, Redline Contract & Interim Director comments: “Within the Technology and Engineering jobs sector we have been extremely fortunate that uncertainty in hiring has not really been the issue in recent years. The most pressing concern has been the availability for highly skilled permanent candidates!

Reports suggesting the NET balance of short-term hiring intentions for contract and interim workers is now rising to the same level as for permanent hires is of no surprise.

Clients have been reaching beyond the UK permanent market where they can but with Brexit still not offering complete certainty an opening within the interim market is allowing clients to still fulfil their own development and strategic demands.

Perhaps inwardly clients are looking to restructure through more and more project based success that may allow a more robust hiring process that fully supplements the demands their own client base put upon them?

Here at Redline we have had an increase in clients using contractors to manage uncertainty and provide short-term access to key strategic skills.

We have found with monitoring our client feedback though out Client Satisfaction surveys that 98% are very satisfied or satisfied with the contractors we have placed in the last year.

For more information on Redline Group's Contracts Division, please contact Peter Livingstone, Director of Contract and Interim Division on +44 (01582) 878852 or email

We are currently recruiting for a Contract Recruitment Consultant. If you are interested, please contact Natalie Tyler, our dedicated Talent Acquisition & Training Manager on 01582 878808 or email or click here to apply now.