Employers in 11 out of 12 regions are planning to increase their workforces between April and June 2006, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey of more than 2,000 organisations.
Businesses in the North East are the most optimistic with a net employment outlook (total number of employers planning on recruiting minus the number planning cutbacks) of 29%.
Scottish employers are also looking buoyant, with 28% planning to take on more staff and just 1% anticipating cutbacks, leaving a net employment outlook of 27%.
Companies in the North West are quite hopeful, with 19% anticipating a recruitment drive and 5% planning to reduce their headcount – giving a net employment outlook of 14%.
London employers are cautiously optimistic, with one in five anticipating an increase in staff and 75 predicting a decrease, giving a net employment outlook of 13%.
The South West region forecasts a downward turn, with a disappointing net employment outlook of -2% predicted for the second quarter of 2006, with 12% planning to decrease their workforce while 2% remain undecided.
Most sectors are bullish on jobs…
Eight out of nine industry sectors are planning to take on more employees in the second quarter of this year, according to the Manpower survey.
The finance and business service sector is the most buoyant, with just over a quarter of organisations (26%) planning to recruit in the next three months.
Only 6% forecast cutbacks, giving a net employment outlook of 20%.
More than 20% of employers in the utilities sector are planning to recruit, with just 7% planning cutbacks, giving a net employment outlook of 15%. The transport and communications industry is relatively optimistic, with a net employment outlook of 14%. Only 3% anticipate cutting jobs in the next three months.
Both the mining and manufacturing sectors are also reasonably positive, with net employment outlooks of 13%.
Even the bleakest forecast, from agricultural employers, resulted in a positive net employment outlook of 8%.
…but quarterly and annual view is not so bright
Only three sectors registered an increase in the net employment outlook from the previous quarter – January to March 2006 – and four were up year-on-year.
The utilities sector showed the most significant rise, up 9% on the previous quarter and up 15% year-on-year.
Both agriculture and transport and communications were up by 2% for the quarter, but transport and communications fell by 11% year-on-year, while agriculture showed an annual rise of 5%.
On the downside, construction, hotels and retail and mining all showed a decrease.
Construction fell by 4% from the last quarter and 16% for the year; hotels and retail fell by 5% on the year, with the community sector falling by 8% for the quarter and 2% annually.
Mining fell by 2% for the quarter, but 4% on the second quarter of 2005.
Finance and business services and the manufacturing sector remained unchanged from the previous quarter, but finance was up 5% year-on-year, while manufacturing was up 8% annually.