‘Jobs boom may be coming to an end’

ManpowerGroup survey suggests UK jobs boom may be coming to an end amid Brexit uncertainty.



The boom in the UK jobs market may be coming to an end amid low economic growth and Brexit uncertainty, according to the latest ManpowerGroup’s survey.

Its Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2019 suggests one of the weakest levels of confidence in recent years with several sectors having a negative outlook. They include the Business and Financial services sector – which employs nearly a fifth of all UK workers and has recorded its least optimistic year since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009 – suggests job losses are on the way, says ManpowerGroup.

They survey is based on responses from 2,124 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

James Hick, Managing Director for ManpowerGroup Enterprise: “Against a bleak backdrop of low economic growth and Brexit uncertainty, UK employers have bucked the trend and kept on hiring. The UK jobs market has been like a party that no-one has wanted to leave, and the ONS recently reported a 440,000 increase in employment in the past year. However, this quarter we are seeing signs that the good times are coming to an end as several sectors have turned negative.

“The Finance and Business Services sector employs around six million people and includes the likes of lawyers, bankers, architects and estate agents. Next quarter, employers in the sector are expecting job cuts. We should be under no illusions about just how serious this is – not just for those workers directly affected, but the UK economy as a whole.”

He highlighted how banks were moving operations out of London and added that it was not just Brexit uncertainty that was putting the brakes on hiring in financial institutions – the end of the PPI and other mis-selling activities which has driven job growth in some areas was also having an impact.

Other sectors recording a negative outlook include Transport, Storage and Comms, which has had a negative employment outlook for three straight quarters, now posting its least optimistic outlook since 2010. One bright spot highlighted is Utilities, which has seen a growth in smaller companies who are putting pressure on their larger peers. New investments in areas such as renewable energy and smart grids was also leading to an increased demand for specialist engineers.

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