Jobs outlook improving for UKeconomy

EMPLOYERS expect to hire rather than fire staff for the first time in a year in the first quarter of 2010, driven by the positive outlook for the finance and business sector, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey published today.<br /><br />For the UK as a whole, the survey reports that the balance of employers intending to hire is currently neutral. London is expected to outperform the national average with headcount growth of two per cent in January to March 2010.&nbsp; <br /><br />This is yet further encouraging news that the dire situation in the jobs market is beginning to improve as the economy begins to emerge from recession. <br /><br />Alan Clarke, economist at BNP Paribas, said: &ldquo;The uptick reported in the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is welcome news and adds to other industry barometers suggesting that the worst news on the economy is in the past.&rdquo;<br /><br />But he added that an even bigger improvement might have been expected given the surge in positive business sentiment we&rsquo;ve seen in recent months and it is clear that the UK is still some way away from longer-term stability in the jobs market. <br /><br />Employers across six of the 12 regions now predict a modest improvement in outlook, however the hiring intentions in both Wales and the West Midlands remain dismal.<br /><br />The finance and business sector, which led the UK economy into recession, is expected to return to solid positive hiring territory at seven per cent in the first quarter. <br /><br />Paul Laurie, operations manager at Manpower, said: &ldquo;The positive outlook within the finance and business services sector is great news for the City, and may be a significant reason for the region&rsquo;s return to confidence since last quarter.&rdquo; <br />