Get UK’s businesses back doing business says latest REC report

Employer hiring intentions remain positive despite continued Brexit uncertainty, according to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).

The latest ‘JobsOutlook’ report released this morning, which covers June-August 2019, shows demand for permanent employees in the short term rose by 5 percentage points to a net figure of +21, compared to March-May 2019, with medium-term demand also up over the same period, rising by 7 percentage points to +25.

However, with employers’ confidence in the UK economy was down 4 percentage points to -30 this quarter.

Other key points from the latest ‘JobsOutlook’ include:

  • Short-term demand for temporary agency workers surged by 12 percentage points to +16 compared to March-May 2019. In the medium term however, demand decreased by 1 percentage point to +4.
  • Three in four (75%) employers highlighted that they have little or no surplus workforce capacity, rising to 85% in the public sector. 
  • Almost half (49%) of employers of permanent staff expressed concern about the sufficient availability of candidates for permanent hire. Health & social care, engineering & technical, and construction were the sectors of most concern.
  • Almost nine in 10 (87%) UK employers stressed the importance of a recruitment agency’s regional and/or sectoral expertise when choosing a recruitment partner.

Commenting on the findings, REC CEO Neil Carberry said: “Today’s figures emphasise why businesses are so frustrated at the lack of a smooth and stable resolution of the Brexit debate. There is growth to pursue and there are jobs to create – businesses believe in themselves and are ready to go. But the unstable economic outlook continues to put a dampener on their ambitions.

“Attracting workers to the UK to fill critical shortages and making sure they feel welcome, speeding investment decisions that create jobs, and investing in skills development for all workers are critical to our future success. It’s time to get back onto this agenda.”

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