Unexpected demand for consumer, business and professional services has led to strong employment growth in these sectors, according to a survey by employers body CBI.
The CBI found the number of jobs in professional services, such as accountancy, law and property, was growing at the fastest rate since the survey began nine years ago. Numbers employed in consumer services, such as hospitality, travel and leisure, increased at the strongest rate for two years.
Richard Lambert, CBI director-general, said: “The importance of the service sector to the UK economy cannot be overstated. Today, it is the largest employer and a source of national competitive advantage.”
Demands for business services have continued to grow slowly, with firms’ expectations less certain for the coming quarter than in the consumer sector.
Business services companies fear this is due to the low availability of professional staff with the right qualities and skills, which is likely to limit their ability to grow over the coming year.