December 6, 2013

Jobs Rich Recovery

Sporting a new austerity haircut, Chancellor George Osborne set out his vision for a ‘jobs rich recovery’ in the government’s autumn statement on Thursday.

Yet a recent survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) suggests employers’ appetite for hiring could be a flash in the pan.

The Labour Market Outlook Survey found that most employers plan to take on staff in coming weeks, but fewer than one in five will raise staff levels in the long-term – even if economic growth picks up significantly.

Instead, they would focus on improving productivity, the report said.

The economy is said to have grown by 0.8% in the third quarter of 2013, with further growth expected into 2014. However, unemployment continues to stand at 7.7%.

Labour market advisor at the CIPD Gerwyn Davies, said: “Our data on medium-term recruitment intentions suggest that stronger economic growth in the next few years will not be accompanied by big rises in employment.

“Instead, many employers tell us they are focused on the need to raise productivity. The prospects of better economic conditions might therefore persuade them to invest more in the business and make more intensive use of existing staff, for example, by increasing working hours.”

The survey of more than 1000 employers found the majority planned to increase staff numbers in the last quarter of 2014, but only 17 planned to do so by more than 2% over the medium term, even if the economy experiences growth.

Of those surveyed, 42% said they would not change current staffing levels, even if faced with growth of up to 2% and 20% said they would increase staff levels by 0-2%.

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