January 26, 2022
Employer confidence in the UK economy fell 5% in the final quarter of 2021 to net -11 as the Omicron variant surged across the UK and concerns over rising inflation and labor shortages continued. This is the second consecutive period that the barometer has been in negative territory, a sign of a drop in confidence, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Confederation of Recruitment and Employment (REC).
In contrast, employer confidence in hiring and investment decisions remained net positive: +9, indicating that hiring confidence levels continued to rise.
The survey noted that employers’ intentions to hire temporary workers have increased in recent months. Short-term agency hiring intentions increased 15% to net:+30, and medium-term demand increased 9% to net:+23.
Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC, said: “It is no surprise that business confidence in the economy began to decline at the end of 2021, with the Omicron wave reaching its peak and inflation rising sharply. But despite this, the majority of employers are still looking to hire new employees. The demand for temporary workers has particularly increased last month to help companies overcome the wave of staff absences and continue their activities. Agency work helps keep our economy going, gets people to work faster, and helps businesses keep up with demand. »
“However, we also found in our survey that employers expect staffing difficulties to be one of their biggest challenges this year,” Carberry continued. “Labour shortages will still be with us long after Covid-19 has disappeared as a major economic problem, so it is essential that employers start thinking about new ways to attract and train staff. that they need.
At the same time, CDI hiring intentions remained robust at net: +19 in the short term and net: +20 in the medium term.
The survey also found that in December, 33% of employers in the UK expected the disruption caused by Brexit to continue to present business challenges in 2022, while 35% said recruiting new staff would be a challenge. significant challenge.