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Hiring confidence up in July, says REC

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC)’s latest JobsOutlook survey found that employers’ confidence in making hiring and investment decisions rose to a net level of +4 in the first half of July. This was up from net: -9 in June.

Forecast demand for permanent staff in the next three months now sits at net: +14, up from net: +6 in early June. Medium-term demand (the next 4-12 months) remained at net: +15.

However, employers are less positive about the wider economy with confidence levels at net: -40, although they are rising from month to month as companies restructure to manage the impact of the pandemic. One in six (17%) employers had made redundancies in the year to July 2020, up from 9% in the year to June.

“It’s good to see employer confidence rising as the lockdown measures ease – at this stage we would expect things to be getting better month-by-month,” said Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC. “It’s too early to tell how quickly the economy will recover, but there are steps the government can take to keep firms hiring and boost growth – including a more flexible skills system and a reduction in the government’s payroll tax, National Insurance, to reduce the cost of hiring.

“Equally, it’s vital that we secure a good Brexit trade deal and deliver a workable immigration system on time to build up confidence and business investment here in the UK.”

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