Large number of businesses looking to recruit more staff

It is perhaps a sign of confidence returning to the UK economy that a significant number of British businesses believe they will be recruiting staff over the coming year.

SMEs are the lifeblood of the UK economy and new research has found that two in five (41 per cent) employers expect the numbers of staff at their organisation to increase over the next year, while in contrast only seven per cent expect to lose staff.

The Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (Acas), commissioned YouGov to ask businesses in Britain about whether they expect staff numbers to increase, decrease or stay the same in the next 12 months compared to the previous 12 months. The poll found that:

  • Two out of five (41 per cent) expect an increase
  • Seven per cent expect a decrease
  • Nearly a half (47 per cent) expect staff numbers to stay the same
  • Four per cent said they did not know

Commenting on the findings, Acas Chief Executive, Susan Clews, said: “Many businesses experienced a challenging time due to the impact of COVID and the employees at those organisations may have felt that they faced an uncertain future.

“As we come out of the pandemic restrictions, it is very encouraging to see a turnaround with two in five employers expecting an increase in staff in the year ahead and nearly a half expecting no change.”

Optimism as economy bounces back

The optimism comes as UK growth bounced back in January as the effects of the Omicron Covid variant began to ease.

The economy grew by 0.8 per cent compared with a 0.2 per cent contraction in December the Office for National Statistics said. The ONS figures show the UK’s economy rebounded in January, with wholesaling, retailing, restaurants and takeaways all performing well.

While supply chain issues continued to dog some sectors, construction and manufacturing both grew, the ONS said.

Computer programming and film and TV production also had a good start to the year, said Darren Morgan, ONS director of economic statistics.

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