With many businesses across the UK slowly recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic and other financial difficulties, the recruitment industry has peaked since the start of 2016. Small businesses and larger organisations are stating they are more confident about taking on additional staff than ever before.
A survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation has found that business confidence in making hiring and investment decisions rose by 15 percentage points between February and April to a net balance of 28 percent.
Employers’ confidence in the economy also increased significantly to a net balance of -10 percent, the highest level since August 2018.
Since the covid recession hit business hard in 2020, leaving many left with redundancies and staff shortages, recruiters have seen an uptake in job vacancies and applicants on the market.
In fact, the Labour market unemployment rate fell for a third consecutive month to 4.8 percent in March, even though the country was in lockdown.
As restrictions continue to ease the jobs market is starting to gain momentum with employers hunting for the perfect candidates and HR managers looking to improve staff turnover. HM Revenue & Customs figures show that in April payrolls increased by 97,000, marking five consecutive months of employment growth.
It is expected the hospitality and entertainment industries will see the biggest growth after months of lockdown and furlough, followed by the retail sector as shops can expand visitor capacity.
However, we must bear in mind that after months of support from the UK Government with furlough schemes, bank loans and reduced business rates, it is likely we will see a rise in unemployment again when Government support ends throughout this year.
Early forecasts have predicted the rise in unemployment could drop significantly within the region of 12 percent. The Bank of England’s latest projections suggest unemployment will peak at 5.5 percent.
Although it is hard to fully anticipate what the future may hold, it is important businesses plan their next move wisely to keep up with the curve and ahead of their rivals.