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RECs JobsOutlook: underlying confidence of employers improving

REC’s JobsOutlook: underlying confidence of employers improving

With the Agency Workers Regulations fully implemented, employers are now taking a slightly more positive view on their future hiring intentions after the summer slowdown, the REC’s latest JobsOutlook has revealed.

At the same time, though the employer confidence in the JobsOutlook Barometer rating is down on last month, the rate of decline is much less, which would suggest the overall picture is changing for the better.

This month’s JobsOutlook  reveals that  21 per cent of employers expect to increase the number of temps within their workforce over the next three months while another 61 per cent – just under two-thirds – plan to keep their agency workforce at the same level, which - down two points on the previous month.  The longer term outlook is also slightly more optimistic with 82 per cent planning to maintain or increase their use of temporary staff over the next year - down a single point.

The short and longer term forecasts for permanent staff is still a mixed bag with 49 per cent of employers – down another five points- looking to grow their workforce in the next three months while another 41 per cent intend to keep their current headcount the same.  

However, for the next 12 month period, 42 per cent are planning to grow their permanent staff while another 48 per cent say they will remain the same. This amounts to a one point rise on the previous month.

Again, the issue of the impact of public sector cuts on private sector jobs looms large. October has seen a rise in the number of public sector employers – up three per cent this month from 60 per cent to 63 per cent - saying that the impact on them would be either quite serious or very serious.

At the same time, there was another one point rise from 21 per cent to 22 per cent in the numbers of private sector employers saying there would be either a quite serious or very serious impact on their businesses as a result.

Commenting on the current data, Roger Tweedy, the REC’s Director of Research said: “The underlying trend this month is one of improvement in employers’ optimism about their future hiring intentions. Though the overall scores have only fluctuated slightly over the past month, taken on a three month rolling basis, there are definite signs that confidence is returning.

“Employers are at last realising they will have to now manage their agency workers slightly differently because of AWR and until their effects are fully realised, employers will continue to err on the side of caution on how they shape their workforces in both the short-term and the longer term.

“This will continue to present a complex picture which we will to monitor closely along with the findings of REC/KPMG Report on Jobs to see what patterns are emergent.”

JobsOutlook is based on a monthly survey of employers with results based on a sample of 600 on a three month rolling basis. To subscribe to JobsOutlook, contact Tracey McManus,


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