According to the latest survey from the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC), nearly a fifth of UK companies expect to increase their workforce within the next few months.
However, the BCC's Quarterly Recruitment Outlook, which was compiled in collaboration with the Totaljobs website, revealed differences in intentions among different sectors of the economy, reflecting the effects of the lockdown resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.
BCC surveyed 6,000 businesses and found that those in manufacturing and construction were the most optimistic about recruitment and boosting employee numbers, while hospitality companies were expecting to see a decrease. Surprisingly, the logistics sector was also expecting to see a reduction in workforces within the next quarter.
Q4 data on vacancies and job applications from Totaljobs revealed that roles within logistics, IT, administration, sales and customer service roles were the most popular.
The data also suggested that, between October and November, there was a 26 per cent increase in job vacancies, before a seasonal decline over the Christmas period.
The majority of vacancies was seen in logistics, IT, and skilled trades. Even with the national lockdown, the survey showed a modest improvement in the number of businesses wanting to recruit in Q4 of 2020, with 41 per cent of businesses seeking new staff, compared to 37 per cent in Q3,
However, this was still down from the 55 per cent pre-pandemic.
19 per cent of survey respondents stated they expected their workforces to increase, 68 per cent expected there would no change, and 14 per cent expected a decrease.
Totaljobs data for January showed that skilled trades, social care and engineering had joined IT and logistics as the sectors posting the highest volume of vacancies.
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