East’s positive employers continue to take on staff

Manpower has published its latest Employment Outlook Survey.

Manpower has published its latest Employment Outlook Survey.

The East of England is continuing to enjoy a steady and buoyant jobs market after three years of positive hiring intentions, a new study has shown.

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, which is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff, has revealed an employment outlook of plus 9% for the region, its 12th consecutive quarter of positive hiring intentions.

The results mean that the region has once again outshone the national average. There has also been a swing towards more permanent role creation in the region, and skilled manufacturing candidates are in demand, the study shows.

The survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers.

It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. Its findings are used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK Government.

“Whilst we have seen a solid Employment Outlook for the East of England over the last three years, this quarter we have noticed a significant uptick in the number of candidates entering the jobs market,” said Manpower UK operations director Krissie Davies.

“Whilst this is encouraging and supports the marketplace, we are still lacking some of the in-demand skills, which are not always easy to come by. This is certainly the case in the manufacturing sector.”

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With the exception of Scotland, all of the UK regions are optimistic going into the second quarter.

The national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook remains at plus 6% for the third successive quarter, indicating that the UK jobs market continues to plot a steadily optimistic course.

East and West Midlands record the strongest hiring intentions this quarter, at plus 11% and plus 12% respectively together with the North West at plus 11%.

These regions are big hubs for the utilities sector, in which the outlook for jobs has risen to plus 18%, its highest level for eight years.

The study reveals a surprise jump in public sector hiring intentions in the run-up to the General Election as the jobs outlook climbed 10 points on last quarter to plus 12%, its most optimistic level for four years.

Even though, with austerity cuts across government departments, people might think public sector hiring would be in the doldrums, the UK was actually seeing the reverse, Manpower said.

In contrast, private companies, although hardly stalling with an outlook of plus 7%, may be sitting on their hands and taking a “wait and see” approach to the outcome in May, the company added.