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UK Jobs Outlook report shows businesses ready to invest in recruitment despite Brexit transition

27/11/18 Ricky Wilcocks Manager, Electronics & Technology

Despite ongoing concerns towards the prospects for the UK’s economy, employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions in their own businesses remained positive. 

New data shows that employers’ confidence in the prospects for the UK economy remained overall negative for the fourth successive month, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) latest JobsOutlook report. The net balance of those seeing a positive outlook as opposed to a negative one hit -11, an improvement from the previous month (October 2018) of 3 percentage points from -14.

48 per cent of UK employers who hire permanent staff expressed their continued concern this quarter over the sufficient availability of candidates, up from 42 percent a year earlier. Engineering and the technical jobs sector were again one of the professions highlighted where employers expect the severest skills shortages. 

53 per cent of employers intending to hire contract, temporary and interim professionals expressed concerns over the availability of workers with the necessary skills they require, up from 46 per cent the previous month, and up from 40 per cent this time last year. Employers are expecting the most severe skills shortages amongst engineering, industrial and the marketing & creative sectors. 

Employers intending to hire temporary/contract professionals rose by 3 percentage points compared to October’s report. Employers of contract and interim professionals reported the importance of contractors for managing uncertainty in their organisations, up 15 percentage points compared with the same period last year.

Employer satisfaction with the quality of candidates presented by recruitment agencies rose from 69% to 74% year-on-year, whilst satisfaction levels with the recruiters themselves rose from 69% to 77%. 

Neil Carberry, Recruitment & Employment Confederation Chief Executive says:

 “Today’s survey shows British businesses at their pragmatic best. Employers remain pessimistic about the longer-term economic outlook - but they are ready to invest in their own businesses to meet demand. Securing the Brexit transition period and a sensible approach to EU immigration to help deal with labour shortages will help to calm those economic fears. A deal will make sure that employers’ confidence in their own business wins out.