Survey reveals future jobs bonanza

ECONOMIC growth in East Anglia is set to trigger a surge in new jobs over the next six months, according to bankers.A survey of 2,000 bosses of companies with a £1million plus turnover carried out by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets found that more firms in this region expect their workforce to grow over the next six months.

ECONOMIC growth in East Anglia is set to trigger a surge in new jobs over the next six months, according to bankers.

A survey of 2,000 bosses of companies with a £1million plus turnover carried out by Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets found that more firms in this region expect their workforce to grow over the next six months.

The Business in Britain survey found that 35% of local East Anglian companies intend to take on more staff between now and the end of the year - 10% above the national average. Only London, with 34%, gets anywhere near.

The recruitment drive builds on a trend seen in the last six months, in which 34% of local companies boosted their headcount, a percentage only beaten by the East Midlands at 35% and compared to a UK average of 27%.


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Meanwhile, an increase in sales and orders have propelled business confidence across the UK to the highest level since 1997. The growth in demand has fuelled sustained investment in local companies while export sales are staying high.

Steve Woolridge, area director for Lloyds TSB Corporate, said the survey showed confidence among companies.

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“Encouragingly, firms have successfully translated a rise in trade into increased profits. Thirty-six per cent of companies reported stronger profits while 31% reported weaker profits,” he said.

“This represents a positive balance of 5%, which is not only a significant improvement on the previous balance of minus 4% but is also the first time in 18 months that the balance has been positive rather than negative.

“As a result, the survey's unique confidence index for expectations for sales, orders and profitability is at its highest level since 1997, showing confidence in sustainable growth is buoyant.

“What's more, despite increased fuel and commodity costs, firms have been able to maintain prices by successfully harnessing greater operating efficiencies to protect margins: 17% more firms were able to raise prices, rather than cut them, in the first half of the year.”

The balance of firms reporting increased exports to Europe had doubled in the last year, rising from 8% in July 2005, to 17%, while exports to non-European countries had also risen from 7% in July 2005 to 17%, he said.

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