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Employment confidence at its highest level since 2008

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The report shows that the net employment balance – which measures the difference between the proportion of employers who expect to increase staffing levels and the proportion who intend to reduce staffing levels – stands at +14. This is an increase from +9 in the previous quarter and the highest figure since the recession in 2008. 

Private sector employers remain positive about employment intentions with an increase in the net employment balance from +21 in Spring 2013 to +26. In contrast, public sector employers are still more likely to expect overall job cuts. But there has also been an improvement in the net employment balance, from -25 in summer 2013 compared to -31 in spring 2013.

However, employers do not expect wage growth to accelerate. Among those LMO employers planning a pay review in the twelve months to February 2014, the average anticipated settlement for basic pay (excluding bonuses) was 1.7 per cent, unchanged from the previous quarter.   

Mark Beatson, CIPD chief economist, comments: “These results suggest we should see further jobs growth over the summer and autumn and hopefully reflect a degree of optimism about growth prospects for 2013. This is welcome news for job seekers. The challenge for the increasing proportion of employers looking to hire will lie in finding the right talent to fill their vacancies. 

Turnover still remains low, perhaps because many employees are reluctant to leave the security of their current role for fear that the market dips again, so employers could find fewer ideal candidates than they might have expected. To counteract this possibility, employers will need to be flexible and innovative in their approach to recruiting and retaining employees, and make sure their job offers are attractive to the more confident and active job seekers entering the market. 

If competition for talent remains high, as our annual survey suggests, employers will also need to think more than ever about ways in which they can grow their own workforces by recruiting for potential and investing in the development of existing employees.”

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