Business optimistic. Three quarters of UK employers (76 per cent) expect economic conditions to be more challenging in 2017 compared to 2016, according to a poll of employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC).
There are signs that the jobs market is slowing. The REC’s latest Jobs Outlook survey of 601 employers predicts a softening in short-term hiring. Employers intending to increase their permanent staff headcount within the next three months has reduced to one in five (21 per cent), down from 24 per cent reported last month. Similarly, demand for permanent staff has reduced in all sectors except health & social care and education.
Skills shortages remain a challenge for businesses. Half of all employers (50 per cent) anticipate a shortage of suitable candidates for some permanent roles this year. Employers anticipate that roles in engineering & technology, health & social care, and hospitality will be particularly affected by skills shortages.
Despite harsh economic conditions, businesses remain self-confident. Three quarters of employers polled (74 per cent) say that their business will perform better this year compared to last year.