UK LABOUR MARKET TO BEGIN LONG ROAD
UK LABOUR MARKET TO BEGIN LONG ROAD TO RECOVERY IN Q1 2010
- UKs Net Employment Outlook is out of negative hiring territory for the first time since Q3 2008 at 0%
- Finance and Business Services sector employers report solid return to confidence and are the most positive of all UK sectors at 7%
- Hiring confidence within the Public Sector dips to a flat 0%
Tough conditions in the UKs employment landscape have dominated 2009 but there is better news on the horizon. Today, 2,100 UK employers have reported their most encouraging hiring intentions for five quarters in the only forward-looking employment survey of its kind, the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. While the UK may not yet be out of recession, these results are initial indications that the overall labour market is on the long road to recovery, with a Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook of 0% reported for Q1 2010.
For the last 12 months the Finance and Business Services sector has been in the spotlight across much of the world, for its contribution in leading many of the worlds developed economies into recession and subsequent job losses. A primary factor in the UKs fall into negative Outlook, the sectors return to a solid positive hiring territory at 7% is good news for other sectors and traditional industries that may also be on the edge of recovery.
Mark Cahill, Managing Director at Manpower UK, comments: The glimmer of hope we saw last quarter is now turning into an encouraging spark. The deeply troubled Finance and Business Services sector of a year ago, which now has the most positive hiring intentions of any industry sector in the UK, is testament to this turnaround in hiring sentiment. While there is still some way to go before the UK makes a full recovery, it is encouraging to see this key sector return to growth.
Cahill adds: For the first time we have seen a dip in the hiring confidence of the Public Sector, which has dropped to 0% and perhaps reflects the much talked about impending reduction in the pay bill. Despite this, we believe that we are very unlikely to reach the estimated three million UK unemployed.
Employers should recognise that headcount need not be the first to suffer in order to cut costs in times of recession. Some Public Sector employers across the UK have adapted quickly to these difficult times and are adopting new workforce innovations and alternative ways of working to limit spending. They are beginning to deploy new models of work that optimise efficiency and achieve their goals without compromising front line service.
Many Public Sector organisations are already at the leading edge of these alternative ways of working which look to bring all the benefits of skills and delivery, as well as the ability to flex a workforce as demand requires.
The landscape of labour market activity in the regions is also set for change in Q1 the West Midlands has shown significant improvement, rising from -18% earlier this year to an Outlook of -4%, which is reflected in Manpowers own business. This is likely to be a knock-on effect from the increase in the UKs manufacturing activity, such as the Governments investment in the car scrappage scheme, which has seen the sector rise two percentage points since last quarter to reach -2%.
For job seekers, looking ahead to 2010 there are new avenues of employment emerging that provide good prospects and support to get back into work. High profile initiatives such as the Young Person's Guarantee, which incorporates the Future Jobs Fund, and Backing Young Britain, are cultivating untapped talent and directing them back into organisations across a range of industry sectors. Those seeking work should be open to opportunities that can provide invaluable skills and on-the-job experience, which, for employers, are a sure-fire way to safeguard for the future.
Other Manpower Employment Outlook Survey highlights:
Employers in the South West (8%) are the most positive
Employers in Wales (-11%) are the least positive
In London, employer hiring confidence has improved by seven percentage points to 2% - its first positive Outlook since Q1 this year
Northern Ireland is the region to have seen the greatest transformation in Outlook rising from a 14% low back in Q2 this year to reach 5%
Employers within the Utilities sector continue to report positive hiring prospects at 3 and
Construction sector employers are the least positive with an Outlook of -10% - representing the greatest decline since last quarter, of eight percentage points.