REC Recruitment Outlook October 2016.

REC’s jobs outlook continues to give some interesting points around the general sentiment in the UK in the wake of Brexit.

Some of the headlines:

·      Just one quarter (25%) of UK employers think domestic economic conditions are improving, compared to half (48%) in June

·      There is an anticipated shortage of permanent and temporary agency workers within Engineering/Technical, Construction and Health & Social Care.

·      Employers are still hiring. 23% of employer’s plan to increase permanent headcount in the short term whilst 25% plan to do so in the medium term.

We are seeing strong economic figures – possibly enhanced by Stirling devaluation and the “bonus” created on exports.

Unemployment is at a record low – under 2million.

Job creation in the UK is excellent – we have more than 500,000 vacancies currently even whilst losing 1million jobs in public sector.

However, this transpires to create a massive skills shortage – 73% of UK industry sectors are experiencing shortages currently.

The Brexit impact that we suspected in previous reports is confirmed when we look at figures for permanent hiring during May to June. However, this picked back up in August and September, implying a “foot off the brake”. Further - 23% of employer’s plan to grow in next 3 months.

In a straw poll of 150 varied recruitment businesses 42% felt economy getting worse. 35% getting better – seems to be split by industry sector. However, 40% expected growth in confidence for investment and hiring vs only 30% expected things to get worse.

It was also noted that the potential future reduction of immigration is likely to cause a huge shortage of workers – our unemployment is below 2million and we have over 500k vacancies. If we reduce immigration by (Eg 200,000 p/month – which would get closer to the Governments cap of 100,000 per month) – you can see that this quickly becomes un sustainable.

There also was a general uplift in agency usage and also the satisfaction therein - 73% of businesses polled noted that they were very satisfied with their agency partners.

I think that we are now in a period of “the new normal”. I believe that even within the 2-year post article 50 negotiation period we will not solve all of the questions and certainly will not have struck the non EU trade deals that we may strive for. I believe that we need to work out how to make this constantly changing set of circumstances work for us over the next ten years or more!

By Mark Beard - https://www.linkedin.com/in/markbeard