Confidence slips further amidst ongoing uncertainty
Last month’s REC Jobs Outlook Survey, highlights how increasingly pessimistic employers were with regards to the economic conditions in the UK. A real lack of confidence amongst employers is making hiring and investment decisions difficult.
The REC survey gives a clear picture of how employers were thinking last month; with 34% of them, believing that political and economic uncertainty was the main challenge facing their businesses right now.
This becomes increasingly more evident when businesses feel that no real investment is being made by the government, initiative and apprenticeship schemes have fallen flat and the skills shortage is still a prevalent issue, it is, in fact, the most challenging factor for many UK employers.
24% of business leaders are increasingly more concerned that the shortage of suitable candidates will have a real negative impact on them. Some have hoped that the introduction of the apprenticeship levy would really help with up-skilling young people into specialist roles but with latest reports suggesting that the apprenticeship scheme is at breaking point, and nothing but a business tax, there currently seems no positive outlook.
With the latest unemployment figures at an all-time low of 4.3%, this somehow gives us a feeling of optimism, however, when you set these figures against the reality of negative wage growth and a growing skills shortage, we too can only feel a little uncertain about the future.
Read the full report to see how companies will be hiring for the next few months and if permanent workers will increase or decrease.
Key points from the REC December survey
- Employer confidence in economic conditions is now the lowest recorded in Jobs outlook since June 2016. However, confidence in making hiring and investment decisions remains positive
- Permanent hiring trends are on a downward trajectory. While more employers now plan to increase rather than decrease permanent workers in short-term (+14), this has been gradually falling from a net balance of +19 in January 2017’
- As Brexit uncertainty continues, the proportion of employers responding ‘don’t know when asked about short term hiring intentions for temporary staff has increased to 27%, up from 9% in January 2017. Read the full report here