Bullish U.K. Firms Remained on a Hiring Spree in Late August
(Bloomberg) -- U.K. businesses were brimming with confidence and wanting to take on workers in late August, with few signs of anxiety about the potential impact of supply-chain disruptions.
That is according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, whose latest survey published Wednesday showed optimism edging higher and demand for permanent staff now running ahead of that for temporary workers -- a sign of confidence in the longer-term outlook.
It is unclear, however, whether firms remained so upbeat during September as energy companies were hit by spiraling wholesale costs and a shortage of delivery drivers led to panic buying of auto fuel. Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey warned this week that post-pandemic bottlenecks could cause the economy to lose further momentum.
“This survey suggests that firms remained confident in late August that capacity constraints would not slow the recovery down,” said Neil Carberry, chief executive of the REC. “Given the events of the past week, we will be watching next month’s numbers to see whether that starts to change.”
The Savanta ComRes survey of 600 employers, carried out between June 1 and Aug. 31, found:
- Hiring intentions rose both for the next three months and the nine months thereafter
- “With demand for staff remaining high, the current labor shortages look set to continue for some time,” REC warns
- An index of business confidence rose to 19, suggesting companies feel the economy will be able to weather issues caused by worker shortages
- In August, 58% of firms that recruit temporary agency workers were experiencing a shortage of suitable candidates
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