City firms carry on hiring through Brexit uncertainty

Jake Cordell
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Firms are still hiring, but there was an eight-fold increase in city workers applying to jobs in Dublin (Source: Getty)

London’s firms are still taking on staff despite the uncertainty caused by June’s referendum, two new surveys of the capital’s businesses have found.

Recruitment outfit Manpower said the number of employers planning to hire more staff in the final three months of the year has increased, taking London to second place on the nationwide league table for employment prospects.

Its quarterly employment monitor, which measures the difference in the proportion of firms saying they will increase their rate of hiring and those saying they will ease back, came in at eight per cent for London, up from seven per cent in the previous pre-referendum survey. Across the country, the same index came in at a score of five.

Read more: Recession risks fade, but Brexit to drag on growth

Meanwhile, a survey from the business lobby the CBI with property group CBRE found 50 per cent of the capital’s businesses planned to carrying on hiring. In a survey undertaken in the three weeks after the referendum - a period marked by turmoil on financial markets and David Cameron’s resignation as prime minister - 12 per cent of London employers told the CBI they planned to reduce their headcount.

Three-quarters of chief executives reported uncertainty over the UK’s relationship with the EU was the biggest factor facing their business, and 53 per cent said mayor Sadiq Khan should play a key role in the upcoming negotiations.

Lucy Haynes, CBI London director said: “As the implications of Brexit continue to be digested by London’s firms, it’s clear they want to see the mayor given a seat at the table in the UK’s negotiations to leave the EU."

She added: “His influence will be critical in ensuring the capital’s companies have the best environment in which to grow, create jobs and boost prosperity throughout the city. Let’s not forget that a thriving London has knock-on effect of driving prosperity around the country.”

Both Manpower and the CBI said the capital’s jobs boom could be thwarted by the ongoing difficulty to find staff with the right digital skills, while the housing crisis was also cited as a major barrier to attracting and retaining staff.

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