Britain’s employers are reporting improved recruitment plans for the first time in three years, offering a “glimmer of hope” to jobseekers in the run-up to Christmas, according to a survey out today. But employers are hiring older, experienced workers rather than young unemployed people, adding to fears for a “lost generation”.
In a survey of 2,100 UK employers, the recruitment specialist Manpower found that 80% of employers anticipated no change in headcount over the next three months, while 9% intended to actively increase numbers. This pushed the UK’s net employment outlook up to -2 for the fourth quarter of 2009, from -6 for the third quarter. The figures measure the balance of employers’ hiring intentions over their plans to fire people.
Mark Cahill, managing director at Manpower UK, said: “There are a number of early positive hiring indicators emerging, from employers in sectors including finance and business services, public and social, and construction, which suggest we may have reached a turning point.”
Manpower said that the UK had similar hiring intentions to France and Germany, despite both countries recently declaring an official end to their recessions. It added that Japan, on the other hand, had a much worse employment outlook than the UK even though its recession has been declared over.
“France, Germany and Japan have already declared themselves officially out of recession. If the UK is to mirror this recovery and retain its position within the global business arena, it is essential that temporary labour, which will provide both job creation and business growth, be embraced by employers,” added Cahill.
Ireland and Spain had the worst employment outlooks with a balance of -8. The most positive was India with a net outlook of 25 and Brazil with 21. The US’s outlook for the final three months of the year was -3, down from -2 for the third quarter.