Employment prospects 'brighten'


Employment levels are set to improve in the next quarter across the UK, the latest Manpower employment outlook survey has claimed.

Published today following interviews with 2,100 UK employers, Manpower concludes that the report's overall outlook has improved by four per cent.

While three quarters of respondents said they planned no changes in the second quarter of 2006, 19 per cent planned on recruiting while only 13 per cent expected to reduce their payrolls. Eight out of the nine employment sectors showed overall positive intentions on the part of employers, with prospects for manufacturing, retail and leisure sectors all looking buoyant.

The report noted that employers were taking on staff in all regions apart from the south west because of "generally optimistic" expectations about the economy.

"Hiring levels have increased consistently throughout 2006 – and this roughly corresponds to GDP growth since last autumn," said Mark Cahill, managing director at Manpower UK.

"It is encouraging that the increase in hiring confidence is gradual, not dramatic: in the past, sudden jumps in hiring confidence have often led to cut-backs immediately afterwards."

Manpower also published its assessment of global employment, which provided a similarly upbeat analysis of the world economy.

The report said that 23 of the 24 countries whose businesses were questioned said they would be taking on more people in the second quarter.

"Employers in Japan, India, Taiwan and Peru reported the strongest hiring expectations, with those in Italy reporting the weakest, and only negative, forecast," the report said.

"Across Europe, the majority of markets look set to improve from three months ago, with the strongest hiring expected in Spain, Norway and Sweden."

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