Yorkshire and the Humber fails to keep pace UK hiring plans

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Job prospects in Yorkshire and the Humber stand below the national average according to Manpower, the world’s workforce experts.

Manpower Employment outlook survey reveals job prospects in Yorkshire and the Humber trail the national average.

  • Employment Outlook of +3% for Yorkshire and the Humber
  • Region feels the impact of public sector cuts
  • Skills shortages from admin to engineering mean competitive pay is on offer

At +3%, the region’s employment Outlook falls short of the UK picture for the fourth consecutive quarter.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,101 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter. It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK government.

Amanda White, Operations Manager at Manpower said:

It is disappointing to see the jobs Outlook in Yorkshire and the Humber continuing to lag behind the national average. Part of this drop in hiring intentions is being driven by the public sector, where confidence has slipped nationwide following the Government’s renewed commitment to cuts. Yorkshire and the Humber, the North East and the North West together employ the greatest proportion of public sector workers in England, so it follows that recruitment in these regions is bearing the brunt of public sector pessimism.
We are also seeing a marked divide between job prospects across the north and those in London – a clear sign that the Government’s plans to rebalance the economy through the creation of a Northern Powerhouse have so far failed to ignite, despite efforts such as Hull’s 10-year, £1 billion regeneration programme.

Amanda White added:

Although the Outlook in the region falls below the UK as a whole, we shouldn’t forget that the picture is still positive. In particular, we are seeing strong demand for employees in the manufacturing sector, and for call centre workers, with particularly fierce competition in Sheffield and Leeds.
Competition for talent, from administrative level right up to jobs such as highly-qualified engineers, means those with in-demand skills are being snapped up, and may find themselves with a choice of several jobs. Across the region apprenticeships are being seen as a helpful way to bridge talent gaps by upskilling promising young people.

Overall, the UK jobs market stands at its least optimistic level in three years, at +4%. ManpowerGroup’s data suggests employers are already feeling the impact of the National Living Wage, scaling back their recruitment plans in the fourth quarter of 2015. The policy will see six million people receive a 6% pay rise each year until 2020, but the Office for Budget Responsibility estimates that the extra costs could mean up to 60,000 job losses.

James Hick, ManpowerGroup Solutions Managing Director said:

An unintended consequence of the introduction of the new Living Wage is that firms might try to bypass the legislation altogether. We anticipate that some employers may look to mitigate the extra costs by taking on more younger or self-employed workers, who are not entitled to the National Living Wage. While on the surface this could be good news for youth unemployment, which currently stands at 16%, it could push a greater proportion of young people into low skilled jobs, resulting in an influx of less experienced workers into social care and other sectors hardest hit by the new legislation. Meanwhile, candidates under the age of 25 have been asking us why it is they will be paid less despite doing equal work.

At +8%, optimism in the capital is twice the national average, despite the fact that employers in its largest industry – finance and business services – record their weakest Outlook for three years, at +4%. The job prospects in the north stand in stark contrast to London, with the North West (0%) and the North East (-2%), together with Yorkshire and Humberside, all lagging behind the UK average.

In the rest of the country, the jobs market looks mixed. The East (+12%), Wales (+11%), the East Midlands (+10%) and the South East (+6%) all stand above the UK average. But the South West (+2%), Northern Ireland (+2%), Scotland (0%) and the West Midlands (0%) fall behind the national picture.