The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook survey of 600 employers indicates that although businesses continue to face a challenging economic climate, the majority are still planning to increase or maintain their permanent staff over the next three months.
REC director of policy Tom Hadley said: “Our latest data shows the majority of employers are planning to increase or maintain their permanent headcount over the next quarter which suggests that the jobs market will continue to outperform the rest of the economy in the short term. Although the ONS reported a rise in unemployment last week, it is important to emphasise that the employment figures were also up.
“Currently it is small businesses that are the most cautious about hiring and we hope that announcements made by the Chancellor in last week’s Budget to make it cheaper and easier to hire people will help to boost business confidence in the future.”
He added: “This month’s report also predicts growth in demand for staff in hospitality and sales. These are two sectors that have been hit particularly hard by the recession so growth is encouraging for both employers and jobseekers.”
March’s JobsOutlook survey of employers reports that:
• 61 per cent plan to increase their permanent headcount (up four per cent on last month) and a further 55 per cent maintain it in the next three months
• 59 per cent plan to increase their permanent headcount (up three per cent on last month) and a further 39 per cent maintain it over the next 4-12 months
• 38 per cent plan to increase their use of agency workers in the next three months (up two per cent on last month) and further 50 per cent intend to maintain current numbers
• 36 per cent say they will increase use of agency workers in the next 4-12 month period (which is up 1 per cent on last month) with an additional 55 per cent saying they will maintain their current level of use of agency workers
JobsOutlook reports the responses of 600 employers questioned about their hiring intentions over the next quarter and the next year. Respondents are drawn from across the public, private and non-profit sector, and from across a range of industries and sizes of organisation.