In November 2021-January 2022, business confidence in the UK economy rose by six percentage points from the previous rolling quarter, to net: -5. In January, employers’ confidence levels turned positive (net: +1). This suggests more positive expectations for the economy in 2022, despite the threat of rising inflation and labour shortages.
The REC’s latest JobsOutlook survey also found that employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions rose to net: +17 in the three months to January. This was eight percentage points higher than the previous rolling quarter.
With somewhat improved confidence levels, employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff increased further. Hiring intentions in the short term increased by four percentage points to net: +24, and medium-term demand rose by five points to net: +24.
However, hiring intentions remained highest for temporary workers in the short term, at net: +28. Temps will play a vital role in keeping businesses going as they adjust to the new normal. The role of temporary work in providing incomes and flexibility as we deal with cost of living increases should not be underestimated. Employers need more staff and temporary work can offer the increased income people need while maintaining other commitments such a family or caring responsibilities.