Jobs miracle set to continue in spite of broadly flat economy

Ben Southwood
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THE UK’S employment statistics will continue to surprise over the next 12 months, a survey released today suggests.

Businesses intend to keep boosting rolls over the coming year, according to a survey of 300 firms together employing some 1.4m staff, released today by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and recruiter Harvey Nash. Some 35 per cent of respondents said they expected their workforce to be larger in 12 months time, as opposed to just 15 per cent that predicted a smaller staff – a net balance of 20 per cent.

“The performance of our flexible labour market in generating jobs in a sluggish economy is a mini-miracle,” said Katja Hall at the CBI, “Businesses look set to continue with the positive but cautious approach to hiring that we've seen over the past couple of years.”

Though the net balance for graduate employment is a healthy 16 per cent for the next six months, and the same figure for apprentice numbers is 18 per cent, the data also suggests that lack of aspiration, role models and poor working attitudes were excluding disadvantaged youngsters from the labour market. “Too many...from disadvantaged backgrounds are not getting jobs because job creation...requires skills and attitudes which we do not help them...develop,” Hall warned.