Wednesday 29 January 2020 12:45 am

UK hiring confidence climbs after election

UK businesses’ confidence in their hiring decisions grew in December, according to new survey data, in another sign that firms have been buoyed by the General Election outcome.

Confidence among employers in the economy rose to minus 31 on the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) scale in the October to December period from minus 33 in three months to November.

Over the same period, confidence in hiring rose to a score of minus three from a three-year low of minus eight.

The REC highlighted that December saw a notable pick-up, with confidence in the economy rising to 26 on the scale and hiring confidence hitting nine.

The survey results match other data releases that show that businesses grew in confidence after the Conservatives’ General Election victory in the middle of December.

After three years of political uncertainty, many companies are grateful for some sort of clarity, despite a large number holding reservations about the Brexit project.

REC chief executive Neil Carberry said: “Greater clarity about the future means that businesses are less likely to sit on their hands when it comes to hiring in early 2020.”

Carberry echoed the concerns of many other business leaders about the ongoing Brexit process, however.

“Making sure that this swing in confidence persists will require a good deal with the EU that addresses services as well as goods,” he said.

He added that post-Brexit Britain needs “a managed immigration policy” which “must work for the whole economy – and include a temporary work route to meet the need for workers in crucial services and industries”.

The survey results reinforced Carberry’s statement, finding that almost half of employers expected find to find a shortage of workers for permanent roles

“Employers of permanent staff were most concerned about sectors like construction, health and social care, which could be particularly affected by the government’s plans for a more restrictive immigration policy,” the report said.