Despite predictions suggesting the UK is coming close to its unemployment peak, the CIPD has revealed that over half (56%) of UK firms are planning to recruit.
In partnership with the Adecco Group, the survey of 2,000 UK employers analyses the plans for businesses to both add and cut jobs, revealing the highest hiring intentions there has been for a year, according to the CIPD.
The report shows strong intentions for healthcare at 80%, finance and insurance (65%), education (65%) and information and communications at 67%.
While sectors like hospitality harder hit by the latest restrictions, see much lower hiring plans at 36%, with some admitting to reducing their headcount further.
Although, as a whole redundancies have dropped, from 30% in the previous quarter to 20%, as the private sector becomes more willing to maintain its workforce.
This hiring confidence is said to be down to the Brexit free trade agreement, the extension of the furlough scheme, and the positive announcements regarding UK vaccinations.
But ongoing uncertainty around government support and restrictions continue to stop businesses from making any drastic decisions.
Gerwyn Davies, the Senior Labour Market Adviser at the CIPD, said: “These are the first signs of positive employment prospects that we’ve seen in a year.
“Our findings suggest that unemployment may be close to the peak and may even undershoot official forecasts, especially given the reported fall in the supply of overseas workers.
“However, it is far too soon to rule out further significant private sector redundancies later in the year if the government does not extend the furlough scheme to the end of June or if the economy suffers any additional unexpected shocks.
“It would be hugely counterproductive if the government’s financial support faltered while some of the biggest sectors of the UK economy are still in survival mode.”
Alex Fleming, Region President of Northern Europe, Adecco Workforce Solutions, comments: “The start of 2021 has been challenging, with the UK entering into its third lockdown.
“It is still positive to see some signs of labour market recovery, with a clear rise in net employment intentions.
“The furlough scheme and redeployment have enabled many organisations to avoid redundancies during the pandemic, and as we continue to transition into the new era of work, government support will remain a key factor in helping to minimise any further jobs fallout.
“Investing in reskilling and upskilling will also remain an important tactic in future-proofing the workforce.
“Even with a Brexit deal and the vaccine rollout underway, there is uncertainty, particularly among the younger generation, when it comes to remaining in the UK for work.
“Therefore, companies that invest in career development, enhancing the skillsets of employees and maintaining a positive workplace culture will help to strengthen their talent attraction and retention strategies during what remains such an unprecedented time.”
Access the full CIPD/Adecco Labour Market Outlook Report here.