December saw employer’s hiring confidence grow

(2 minutes to read)

In the three months to November, 56% of employers who hired temp agency workers said they used them to manage uncertainty, up from 41% a year earlier.

Early December saw employers become more confident in their ability to hire new staff – this is despite Covid-19 restrictions and concerns of a no-deal Brexit at the time.

The JobsOutlook report from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions rose by six percentage points in the three months to November, compared to the previous rolling quarter.

This put confidence levels at net: +1, returning to positive territory for the first time since January-March.

However, their confidence in the wider UK economy fell by a further two points to net: -51, reflecting the high stakes of both the Covid-19 situation – and the last stages of tense Brexit talks.

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An increasing number of firms looked to the support of temporary workers to see them through the run up to Christmas. Short-term demand for agency workers rose by five points from the previous rolling quarter to net: +6. Medium-term demand meanwhile rose by eight points to net: +12.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said, “Our report today points to a more hopeful future for the UK jobs market, if we can begin to get through the crisis as the vaccine rolls out.”

“Business leaders around the country will be working out what the new controls mean for them – and taking the steps necessary to protect strained cashflows. It’s essential that the economic response stays in step with this, and that repayments of 2020’s support don’t get in the way of 2021’s recovery, in areas like the VAT deferral and on loan schemes.”

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