Latest findings show that while business confidence is still in negative territory, it has seen improvement over the last couple of months.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook report revealed that employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff in the next three months rose to a net level of +11 in June-August.
It also shows that contractors are becoming increasingly important to employers – those who use contract/temp workers said they help to manage fast-changing organisational requirements (56%) and manage uncertainty (42%).
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, commented on the findings, “As public health restrictions were eased over the summer, the labour market started to move. Employers remain cautious and concerned about the future path of the economy – but are much more sanguine now about their own plans.”
He added, “Six months into the pandemic, firms have a clearer sense of how they will navigate the crisis. This is feeding through to the beginnings of a more positive trend on permanent hiring. The number of job adverts in the market has also risen, with steady increases between June and September.
“Last week’s announcements from the Chancellor were welcomed by many businesses. They will help with hard-pressed cash-flows and keeping more people in work. But we will also need a focus on new jobs and transition if we are to avoid long-term unemployment. Reducing employment costs other than wages – like employers’ National Insurance contributions – and more flexible skills funding would help. But the most important thing over the coming weeks and months will be getting the test and trace system running effectively. This is the way to keep the economy going while fighting the virus.”
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