Jobs Upturn Springs into Life

Management Services, July 2004 | Go to article overview

Jobs Upturn Springs into Life


A new quarterly monitor of employment intentions, published recently by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, shows that nearly two in five employers expect to be employing more staff this year. Yet, despite this, few anticipate a significant rise in wage costs. This positive news on the state of the jobs market comes ahead of official employment and pay figures.

The CIPD's first quarterly HR Trends and Indicators survey - involving almost 2,000 employees in all sectors and regions of the UK - finds that more than half (53%) of employers plan to recruit in the next three months. Recruitment intentions are strongest in the finance and public administration sectors. However, almost a third (32%) of manufacturing employers expect to cut staff numbers by 5% or more.

Dr John Philpott, Chief Economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and author of the report comments, 'The expectation of strengthening economic recovery in 2004 is clearly making many organisations more optimistic about job prospects. These quarterly survey figures remain consistent with the CIPD's current expectation that total UK employment levels will rise by around a quarter of a million this year. However, manufacturing is a major exception, though job losses in the sector are consistent with recovery as employers restructure to boost competitiveness."

The survey testifies to Philpott's 3Rs phenomenon of the economy in which reorganising, recruitment and redundancies happen simultaneously within the same organisations. Nearly a quarter of employers plan to lay off staff durng the same period. Philpott puts this relatively high figure down to the fact that the average organisation restructures every three years whatever the economic conditions.

This point is illustrated by the main reasons given for making redundancies - which include reorganising work methods (31%) and competitiveness, efficiency and cost reduction (21%). …

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