Little cheer on Christmas jobs front

Fewer East Anglian companies are planning to recruit staff between now and Christmas, with the outlook for the region's job market remaining fragile, a new report has revealed.

Fewer East Anglian companies are planning to recruit staff between now and Christmas, with the outlook for the region's job market remaining fragile, a new report has revealed.

The survey, from recruitment specialists Manpower, shows a balance of only 5pc of companies looking to take on more staff – significantly down from last year's figure of 25pc, indicating the fragile nature of the region's economy.

Companies, especially retailers, traditionally recruit hundreds of extra staff for the Christmas period.

But this year, many are expected to scale back their recruitment plans.


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Paul Smith, director of Manpower East of England, said: “The Christmas period is traditionally a buoyant time for the region as employers increase their workforce to help meet customer demand.

“These predictions by employers in the area are disappointing.

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“Indeed, this marks a considerable fall in prospects since this time last year and the results are way below the end-of-year projected hiring average for the region. The market is tough at the moment. Generally, companies are not expanding their temporary workforce at present and there is little movement in the recruitment market.”

Manpower questioned 2500 employers across the UK for its survey, with the figures for East Anglia among the worst in the country.

But there was some good news on the employment front, as high street retailer Boots announced it would be taking on extra staff in the run-up to Christmas.

The company is recruiting 600 more staff for its stores in the east of England. Hundreds more head office staff are also being brought into the stores to help.

David Kneale, Boots' chief operating officer, said: “We are the best health and beauty retailer and we want the best people serving our customers. Christmas is our busiest season and we want to recruit now so that people can receive the training needed in retail skills. Service is incredibly important to our customers and we just want to keep on improving.

“All new staff will work closely with our existing high-calibre store teams. Christmas promises to be exciting and extremely busy so there

couldn't be a more exhilarating time to work in a Boots store.”

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