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European economic uncertainty erodes UK employers confidence to recruit, reports REC

David Woods , 24 May 2012

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Economic turbulence, including the woes of the eurozone, has affected employer confidence to recruit this month, according to the Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) JobsOutlook survey, the monthly survey of employers’ hiring intentions.

Although the overall outlook for the jobs market remains positive, the REC's barometer of employer confidence has dipped since last month's record high.

The REC's analysis suggests this is less to do with employers' concern about their own organisations' performance and more to do with the external economic climate.

The majority of employers still say they plan to employ more staff over the next three and 12 month periods, but the percentage has fallen slightly since the survey was last conducted in April as bosses assess their need for additional staff for the rest of the year.

JobsOutlook's survey of employers found 66% said they planned to increase the number of permanent employees over the next three months ( (compared to 72 percent last month).

The survey also found employers predicting they would have difficulty finding the skilled staff they need in the areas of engineering and technical skills and computing, IT and telecommunications over the coming year.

Commenting on the latest figures, the REC’s Director of Research, Roger Tweedy, said: “Employers took on more staff during the first quarter of this year, but confidence is fragile and bad news about GDP growth and from the eurozone will contribute to them feeling a little more cautious about the future.

“Demand for staff is higher in certain sectors and bosses tell us that despite the current rate of unemployment they still predict they will find it hard to fill the vacancies they have for engineers and skilled IT and technical staff.”

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