The latest data from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) reports positive news on confidence in the UK economy and hiring intentions from employers.

In the three months to July, employers’ confidence in their ability to hire new staff and make investment decisions remained high at net: +29, just below the previous rolling quarter’s record high.

Employers’ intentions to hire new permanent and temporary staff over the next three months remained stable at net: +22 and net: +26 respectively, signalling that demand for workers will remain high into the autumn as businesses recover from the effects of the pandemic and deliver on new business plans.

The REC’s latest survey also found that business confidence in the UK economy rose by one percentage point to net: +18, sitting firmly in positive territory.

  • In the first week of August, there were 1.65 million active job adverts in the UK according to REC’s latest Jobs Recovery Tracker.
  • There were around 204,000 new job adverts posted in the same week, the fourth highest weekly figure since the start of the pandemic

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“We’re well into the recovery now, and our surveys show that demand for labour remains high. Even with a large number of people coming off furlough in August and September, it’s likely that high demand for workers will continue to cause shortages through the autumn. There will be particular pressures in logistics, food manufacturing and hospitality as we gear up for Christmas, and hiring for this period has already started.

“Hiring businesses need to reassess their plans to make sure they can source the people they need over the months and years to come. That means the right mix of new mid-career hires, temporary staff and trainees or apprentices. Recruitment and staffing firms understand this process better than anyone and are ideally placed to help.

“For government, the pressing issue is that labour shortages will limit business and economic growth in the months to come. It’s time to work with businesses and make the reforms needed to unemployment support and the skills system, and put more people on a path to a good job.”

Other key figures from the REC’s latest JobsOutlook report include:

  • Employers’ intentions to hire permanent staff in the medium term (the next 4-12 months) remained high at net: +26.
  • Meanwhile, medium-term demand for temporary agency workers grew by four percentage points, to net: +20.
  • In July, two in five (43%) employers said that they needed to restructure pay grades across their business to reflect pay increases after the National Living Wage was raised in April 2021.





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