Employers across the UK are expecting jobs growth for the sixth quarter in a row, meaning more openings for job seekers but more competition among employers for the right candidates.
This is according to the newly-published Summer 2013 CIPD/Success Factors Labour Market Outlook survey.
The report shows that the net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staffing levels and the proportion who intend to reduce staffing levels – stands at +14. This is an increase from +9 in the previous quarter, and the highest figure since the recession in 2008.
Private sector employers remain positive about employment intentions, with an increase in the net employment balance from +21 in spring 2013 to +26 in the new survey. By contrast, public sector employers are still more likely to expect overall job cuts; but here there was also an improvement in the net employment balance, at -25 in summer 2013 compared to -31 in spring 2013.
Employers do not expect wage growth to accelerate significantly. Among those LMO employers planning a pay review in the 12 months to February 2014, the average anticipated settlement for basic pay, excluding bonuses, was 1.7% – unchanged from the previous quarter.
Mark Beatson, CIPD Chief Economist, says these results suggest we should see further jobs growth over the summer and autumn, hopefully reflecting a degree of optimism about growth prospects for 2013.
“This is welcome news for job seekers. The challenge for the increasing proportion of employers looking to hire will lie in finding the right talent to fill their vacancies.
“However, there is still little sign of improved confidence about employment prospects feeding through into pay expectations, which remain below the rate of inflation. Clearly employers feel they do not need to raise pay to meet recruitment goals and, with turnover low, retention is unlikely to be a pressing issue for most organisations.
“However, both these factors could turn as the job market improves, and employers need to be prepared to adjust their workforce planning, development and reward practices in response.”