Even in lockdown, employers hiring confidence is on the rise, according to REC, the Recruitment and Employment Confederation.
From December to February 2021, hiring confidence among employers risen to a net level of +16.
With a net increase of +29 in February alone as the government proposed its roadmap out of lockdown, allowing organisations to begin their re-opening plans.
However, two in five (40%) employers reported having reduced workers’ hours between December-February 2021, up from just 12% in the previous 12 months.
And although confidence in hiring is on the rise, confidence in the economy is not replicated, as levels were -50, but still slightly higher than the previous quarter.
Temporary agency workers also continue to increase, with another 8-point increase, showcasing the need for organisations to explore more flexible options as uncertainty still looms.
And while permanent hiring intentions fell by 5, it remains at a high net of +19.
Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:
“Recruiters report that this latest lockdown has been much less damaging than many feared back in January.
“The relative health of the economy and the jobs market is now being reported by business surveys, official figures and our own data.
“Today’s figures show that hiring companies are confident about bringing people into their businesses now, and that has to be good news for all of us.
“There is still widespread pessimism about the wider economy, but that may be because respondents fear for sectors that have been shut down during lockdown.
“This caution is also reflected in employers leaning more on temporary work in uncertain times.
“As always, temping remains a great way for people to find work quickly and for firms to hire when the outlook is uncertain.”