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Finance and business confidence high, reveals Manpower

The growing confidence has helped drive UK job prospects to a net employment outlook of 18% – the highest national outlook since the end of 2001. In addition, the UK is also posting the most positive outlook of any of the European countries surveyed.

Hazel Detsiny, director at Manpower, says: &#34In spite of increases to interest rates and concerns about the future of the housing market, companies remain confident about their future hiring intentions.

“The continued upturn is clearly evidenced through the growing confidence amongst employers in the City and business sectors where 23% of employers are looking to increase their headcount.

“At the same time, confidence is evident in other non-service based industries such as the manufacturing sector where jobs confidence has hit a seven-year high.&#34

The Manpower employment outlook survey measures employer hiring intentions for the quarter ahead – October to December 2004. Of the 2,500 UK employers who were surveyed in the UK and over 35,000 employers in 19 countries and territories globally. The net employment outlook for the UK in Q4 is over 18%. When seasonal variations are taken into account, the outlook is over 14%.

Looking at the figures in more depth, the positive situation in the financial services sub-sector is reinforced by the fact that just 2% of employers are looking to cut back their workforce in the next quarter with 18% of employers looking to take on more staff.

This is also the highest outlook for this sector in Europe and confidence is also apparent in the hotel and retail sector.

Detsiny says: &#34Employer hiring intentions have generally been stable since the start of 2002 with no sign of the peaks and troughs of the mid-late 1990s.

&#34These results indicate that companies have confidence to hire staff and that job seekers are happy to move jobs. As opposed to new job creation, we are seeing a higher churn of workers in the labour market moving from company to company.

“With low wage inflation, employers are having to review the benefits they offer such as flexible working, training, pensions and healthcare to hold onto the best people.&#34

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