An Outlook for the 2014 UK Job Market

6th January 2014

We came across an interesting article from OnRec recently, which looked at the positive national outlook for the first quarter of 2014. Below, we have summarised accordingly.

Employment in the UK has seen steady signs of improvement and the predicted outlook of + 5% in employment shows that employers will be looking to hire within the first quarter of 2014, which confirms a more positive picture for the economic recovery. The Manpower Employment survey has confirmed this outlook although there is still much work to be done.

Manpower found that although signs are good, there is still a lot of turbulence within the UK’s jobs market. The situation may appear positive on the surface, but there are underlying factors that are less visible and cannot be ignored when analysing the UK job market in 2014.

Based on 2,100 responses to their survey, Manpower asked the question whether employers are looking to hire or reduce their workforce in the coming three months. The results of the survey are used by the Bank of England and the UK Government when they look to make key predictions and decisions about the future of the jobs market and economic predictions.

“Going into 2014, the UK jobs market has the characteristics of a swan: it’s making steady, serene progress on the surface but a very different picture emerges beneath the water where it is paddling away furiously. Continued pressure on pay, underemployment and a lack of the necessary skills among candidates means it’s still an employer’s market and employees are yet to feel the effects of the economic recovery in their pockets. These issues don’t look like they will ease up much in the near future.”

“We’ve had several quarters of optimism and that looks set to continue into the New Year. Of course, that’s good news, but let’s not get carried away – it’s still the slowest post-recession fall in unemployment the UK has seen in half a century. The optimistic signs we’re seeing elsewhere in the economy just aren’t translating into a boom in hiring intentions, and many employers are taking a real ‘safety first’ approach,” said Manpower Group UK Managing Director, Mark Cahill.

As a regional outlook it is the first time in 6 years that every region is showing a positive trend in employment and not just London, the capital had been a hiring powerhouse throughout the start of 2013 but has since fallen below the national average at +1%, compared with +11% during the summer.

Increases in employment will be seen in utilities, transport, finance and business support sectors over the coming year but there are still bumps in the road, most notably Barclays announcing 1,700 job cuts in the UK and in construction where the future appears uncertain with a negative prediction of -6% for the forthcoming year.

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