Tuesday 8 June 2021 6:00 am

UK to see 'employment boom' as lockdown restrictions ease

Daily news reporter in City A.M.'s London newsroom

Employers plan a huge recruitment drive, fuelled by the easing of lockdown restrictions, according to a new report out this morning.

Staffing agency giant Manpower says the UK’s jobs outlook was at a six-year high and growth is the strongest of any European country except Ireland. This follows the weakest 12 months for the UK’s jobs outlook in 30 years.

Hiring intentions were particularly strong in sectors including retail, hospitality, finance and business services.

Chris Gray, director of ManpowerGroup UK, said: “The employment outlook has seen the sharpest quarter-on-quarter increase since 2002 and the largest year-on-year record to date.

“Much of this is likely to be companies making up for hiring freezes and redundancies undertaken over the past 12 months.”

Recent reports of taff shortages in hospitality have been particularly severe. A business confidence study from CGA and Fourth, an industry analyst, showed 51 per cent of business owners “anticipate shortages in all roles” and 39 per cent worried they will be unable to recruit back-of-house positions.

Construction has also seen higher demand for staff, as the industry has rapidly bounced back from the pandemic.

Manpower said such staff shortages could hinder post-Covid recovery.

Figures from the Economic Statistics Centre of Excellence estimate as many as 1.3m overseas workers have left the UK since late 2019, a trend accelerated by Brexit and the Covid-19 pandemic.

At the start of June, the British Beer & Pub Association called on the government to expand the Youth Mobility Scheme to allow more workers into the UK. Farming and haulage leaders have also called for the relaxation of visa restrictions for workers.

Mims Davies, minister for employment, said: “Employers know brighter days lie ahead and new opportunities are opening up as we cautiously move along the roadmap.”