Recruitment market to remain flat in last quarter

The recruitment market will remain static for the remainder of 2010 with employers remaining only mildly optimistic about future hiring prospects, research reveals today.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey, based on responses from more than 2,100 employers, shows a Net Employment Outlook of +1% for the final quarter of the year, marking the fourth consecutive quarter of static growth. The Outlook is calculated by subtracting those employers who plan to reduce staffing levels from those who plan to hire staff.

The report shows that the gap in hiring intentions between the strongest and weakest industry sectors and regions is widening. In terms of sectors, utilities and finance & business services are the two most positive at +10% each, while construction continues to struggle at -5%. Meanwhile, the regions that are weak are getting weaker and those that are strong are getting stronger. These trends are concerning for the UK’s post-recession recovery, warned Mark Cahill, managing director at Manpower UK.

“The UK business landscape is changing and its future stability is under threat, which carries serious consequences for the labour market,” he said. “The gap in hiring intentions between the strongest and weakest industry sectors and regions is widening, and although unsurprising, it is a concern for the UK’s post-recession growth strategy.”

If the UK is to avoid the predicted 8.1% peak in unemployment, there must be significant business growth underpinned by workforces with the skills employers need to drive and support that growth, Cahill added.

“We know already that there will be challenges,” he said. “Public sector hiring intentions are expected to plummet, and there is increasing pressure on the private sector to lead the country back to pre-recession growth, which points to a depressed first quarter of 2011.”

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