Yorkshire and the Humber top of the league for jobseekers in the north

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Manpower employment outlook survey reavels hiring intentions in Yorkshire and the Humber are the highest in the north.

  • Employment Outlook of +7% for Yorkshire & the Humber
  • Competition for talent leading some firms in Leeds to hoard skills
  • Investment in areas like Humber and Sheffield driving job opportunities

Employers in Yorkshire & the Humber are the most optimistic in the north according to Manpower, the world’s workforce experts. At +7%, hiring intentions in the region match the national average and are above the North East (+6%) and North West (+2%).

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,100 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 UK, said:

We’ve seen some real optimism in the region, especially compared to other parts of the north. Good candidates are able to secure great packages given the amount of competition for talent, with almost a quarter of candidates who have been offered a new job receiving a counter offer from their current employer. As a result of this competition, we’re seeing employers in cities like Leeds seeking to hoard skills, keeping skilled employees even when demand is low, to avoid having to re-enter the hiring market to meet peak demand.

In the Humber, investment from companies like Siemens is helping to generate new jobs. We’re seeing strong demand within manufacturing and the NHS. In Hull in particular there is a great deal of demand for senior talent. There are plenty of call centre and administrative opportunities in Yorkshire, most notably in the legal and financial services sectors. In York, firms are really struggling to fill permanent, senior positions in these industries. Sheffield has a buoyant public sector jobs market, but otherwise is a bit quieter, although the amount of new inward investment suggests we may see jobs follow soon. In Leeds there is definitely optimism despite the collapse in the oil industry impacting some of the area’s employers. FMCG manufacturing, food production and print are industries where we’re seeing lots of growth.

Nationally, hiring intentions among Britain’s employers in the first half of 2016 are at their strongest level since 2007. The national seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook is at +7% for the second consecutive quarter, a start to the year not seen for nearly a decade. But there are questions about whether this demand for talent can be fulfilled if Britain votes to leave the European Union.

James Hick, ManpowerGroup Solutions Managing Director:

British businesses continue to create the job opportunities that have helped get Britain back to work since the 2008 financial crisis. But while there’s clearly the demand for workers, we also need to protect the supply of talent. Employers of all shapes and sizes rely on the free movement of people inside Europe to find the skills they need. The latest employment statistics showed that of the 521,000 jobs created in the last 12 months, 215,000 of these were filled by people from elsewhere in the EU.

Let’s be realistic: we simply won’t be able to replace overnight the skills these people bring to the UK if we leave the EU, and it’s our economy that will suffer.

Unemployment is at its lowest level since 2006 – it’s unrealistic to suggest there’s enough slack in the labour market out there to fill these jobs.

The West Midlands (+9%), the East (+10%), London (+10%), and the South West (+10%) all stand above the national average. The South East (+5%) and the East Midlands (+7%) both report falls from Q1 2016. The Outlooks in Wales (+3%) and Scotland (+6%) are in positive territory, while Northern Ireland reports its most positive outlook since 2007, at +8%.

The picture elsewhere in the north of England is more positive, with the North East just below the national average at +6%, while, with an Outlook of +2%, the North West has fallen below the national average.