BUSINESS NEWS-UK-Employer Confidence In Hiring Improves For First Time Since February: REC
Employers’ confidence in their ability to make hiring and investment decisions improved in the first half of July for the first time since February as Covid-19 lockdowns ease, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. However, businesses’ confidence in the wider economy remains weak.
The survey found confidence in making hiring and investment decisions rose to a net level of +4 in the first half of July, up from net -9 in June, an indication that on balance, employers think the outlook has improved from the previous month.
“It’s good to see employer confidence rising as the lockdown measures ease — at this stage we would expect things to be getting better month-by-month,” REC Chief Executive Neil Carberry said. “Even at times like these, there are always opportunities out there for jobseekers. But businesses are still very worried about the overall outlook for the economy, and while some are hiring, many are having to make tough decisions around laying people off.”
Businesses’ hiring intentions also improved between June and July. Forecast demand for permanent staff in the next three months is now at net +14, up from net +6 in early June. Demand for the next four to 12 months remained at net +15.
By contrast, employers remain gloomy about the wider economy, with confidence levels at net -40, although they are rising from month to month. And, as expected, companies are restructuring in reaction to the impact of the pandemic; 17% of employers had made redundancies in the year to July 2020, up from 9% in the year to June.
The REC’s Jobs Recovery Tracker, published earlier this month, found there were a total of 1.05 million job postings in the UK in the week of 6 July to 12 July, up from 990,000 in the last week of June.
JobsOutlook is produced by the REC in partnership with Savanta ComRes, who interviewed 200 UK employers involved in hiring by telephone between 1 July and 13 July.