Businesses upbeat about recruitment despite political uncertainty

British businesses are upbeat about their recruitment plans despite the political and economic uncertainty surrounding last week’s general election and Brexit, according to a new report.

A study by ManpowerGroup showed cautious optimism about making new hires with a positive outlook of five per cent, suggesting that recent events have not deterred businesses looking to take on staff.

The report’s authors said that while the election result may appear to be a negative, it might “offer hope” to business owners who fear the effect a hard Brexit could have on their hiring plans.

“Employers have faced a triple whammy of uncertainty over the last few months – a snap election, the triggering of Article 50 and weak economic data for the first half of 2017,” said ManpowerGroup solutions managing director James Hick, commenting on the findings.

“You might have expected hiring confidence to have taken a real hit, but employers have been standing firm. However, unquestionably they feared the outcome of a hard Brexit on the jobs market.

“The election result throws into question the Conservative commitment to slash immigration to the tens of thousands and double the levy on non-EU workers to £2,000.

“The simple truth is that some sectors will stall without skilled workers from overseas, which could result in the UK economy entering a tailspin.

“To fill the gaps that the end of free movement of people will create, we will need hundreds of thousands of unemployed Britons to find work.

“People might be surprised to learn that in the last year 80,000 Bulgarians and Romanians entered the UK workforce, while the size of the UK-born workforce did not increase at all – demonstrating just how accustomed we have become to a steady stream of labour from overseas.

“Slamming the door shut will leave us seriously exposed.”

For more from the report, see the ManpowerGroup website.