Rapid climb in headcount at firms in professional sector

 
Chris Papadopoullos
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Job numbers in the business and professional sector rose at their fastest pace since 2007
The business and professional sector is seeing its fastest growth in employment for seven years.

Survey data released today by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) also shows hiring intentions in the business and professional sector – which included accountants, lawyers and marketing firms – remained high.

The difference between the percentage of firms reporting a higher headcount and those reporting a lower one – the net balance – rose to 42 per cent in the three months to November, up from 33 per cent in the three months to August.

The net balance of firms plan­ning to increase job numbers over the next three months was 38 per cent, holding steady after register­ing 46 in the three months to August.

Booming employment numbers in the business and professional sector follows robust growth in the broader services sector in the three months to November. “Growth across the services sector is expected to continue into the New Year,” said Rain Newton-Smith, CBI director for economics.

“But skills shortages are starting to bite, putting more of a break on investment and future growth in consumer services. Therefore, the spending rise in training in the sector is particularly encouraging.”

Spending on training rose at its fastest rate since May 1999, with a net balance of 41 per cent of firms reporting larger training budgets.

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