Employer confidence rises but hiring plans remain cautious – REC

Employer confidence in the economy has improved, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC). The net balance of employers who think economic conditions are getting better over worse grew seven points since March, but remains negative at -3. Twenty-nine per cent of employers think economic conditions are worsening and 26 per cent think they are improving.


Despite the improvement in employer confidence, permanent hiring plans remain on a downwards trajectory with only 14 per cent of employers planning increases in the short-term, down from 22 per cent this time last year.


However, more employers are certain about their temporary hiring plans. Just 12 per cent don’t know their short-term plans, down from 18 per cent in March and 34 per cent in February.


The survey of 600 employers also shows:


  • Availability of temporary agency workers is becoming a bigger problem with nearly half (47 per cent) of employers believing there will be a shortage of appropriate candidates in any of the sectors they cover, up from a third (35 per cent) last month.
  • The proportion of employers who increased headcount (44 per cent) or pay (47 per cent) in the previous year has been falling since June 2017, likely as a result of the decline in employer confidence since the EU referendum.