East Anglia: Growth in employment likely to slow during final quarter, Manpower report reveals

Manpower has published its latest Employment Outlook survey.

Manpower has published its latest Employment Outlook survey.

The outlook for employment in the East of England has fallen to its lowest level for two years, according to the latest quarterly survey by recruitment specialist Manpower.

But a separate report covering the wider South of England region, including East Anglia, suggests continued strong demand from employers last month.

The Manpower Employment Outlook, claimed to be the most comprehensive forward-looking employment survey of its kind, scores job prospects in the East of England at plus four, compared with a national figure of plus six.

However, although hiring intentions in the region are at their lowest level for more than two years, Manpower says there are still jobs available for the right candidates – with a lack of suitable applicants still being an issue in some sectors.

“The East has enjoyed more than two solid years of positive hiring intentions,” said Jason Greaves, operations director at Manpower UK.

“Whilst it is a shame not to end the year with the final quarter in double digit positivity, the region is still creating jobs and there are opportunities out there, right across the region, for candidates who are suitably skilled

“For example candidates with relevant engineering experience are in particular demand in both Cambridge and Ipswich where we are seeing a large number of full-time vacancies coming on line and a distinct lack of suitable people to fill them.”

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He added: “Overall we are noticing a decline in the number of part-time roles across the region and an uptick in full-time positions, which is meeting with a mixed response from candidates, some of whom are struggling to find the part-time positions they are looking for.”

The latest Report on Jobs, based on replies to questionnaires sent to around 150 recruitment and employment agencies across England, says the South region (excluding London) has just seen its strongest rise on permanent placements for seven months, although growth in temporary positions has been slower.

The demand for permanent staff in the region during August extending the current sequence of growth to exactly five years, with the rate of expansion in demand being the fastest since March 1998 and stronger than all other English regions surveyed. Demand for temporary staff, although slower compared with that for permanent staff, increased at the strongest rate since June 1998.

Steve Muncey, senior partner in East Anglia for KPMG, which supports the survey, said: “Businesses across the region are investing heavily in their workforce, out hiring all other regions in the UK and building their workforce back up to deliver their growth plans.

“This spending spree is a strong indicator that businesses in our region feel confident about the future and are thus prepared to plough back the profits from their business into their workforce.”