Blog

30 August 2017
Hiring plans are decreasing post Brexit

According to this month’s findings from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) more companies expect the economy to decline over the next three months instead of improve, meaning they are far less likely to recruit new staff.

The report found that 31 per cent of employers now expect the business economy to worsen whereas just 28 per cent expect it to improve. However, companies are still planning to hire, with one in five intending to increase permanent roles in the next three months.

The construction sector is particularly feeling the pinch, with the Brexit vote making current staff eager to return home to the EU. Following construction, the sector with the biggest shortage is health and social care, followed by engineering and technology. We have seen the countless headlines of shortages especially in the health and social care sectors since Brexit was announced. Government data last week showed that unemployment in the UK has fallen to a 42-year low, but this uncertainty moving forward may change this.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“The jobs market continues to do well despite growing uncertainty. However, this drop in employer confidence should raise a red flag.

“Businesses are continuing to hire to meet demand, but issues like access to labour, Brexit negotiations and political uncertainty are creating nervousness. Employers in the construction sector are especially concerned as they rely heavily on EU workers to meet the growing demand for housing and to support the government’s infrastructure plans.

“The added factor of dropping consumer confidence is putting some businesses on edge. If people reduce their spending, businesses will be impacted.

“The government must do more to create an environment where businesses have clarity. That means clearly laying out what Brexit plans look like and how employers can keep recruiting the people they need from the EU. The jobs market is in a good place but employers will only continue to hire and invest if they feel assured about the future.”

The latest JobsOutlook survey conducted by 601 employers also found that:

  • 40 per cent of employers have no spare capacity and would need to recruit to meet additional demand
  • more employer’s express concerns about a lack of appropriate candidates for construction jobs (both temporary and permanent) than any other area.

Companies are putting off making long-term decisions about their plans to expand while the UK’s exit of the European Union is negotiated. The decrease has been found in London and Edinburgh according to findings published a few months ago. Until now, hiring has remained relatively buoyant, but time will tell how things will turn out.

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