Positive Outlook for the Jobs Market?
According to the CIPD’s latest Labour Market Outlook report, a decrease in employers’ redundancy intentions has boosted the immediate jobs outlook for the first time in over a year.
Overall, the proportion of employers planning to make redundancies in the next three months has fallen from 37% to 32%, whilst the net employment balance has risen from -8 to + 6 in the past quarter — the net employment balance measures the difference between the number of employers intending to increase and decrease staffing levels.
Responsible for much of these increases is the private sector with its net employment balance standing at +25, up from +10 three months ago. Furthermore, although the balance for the public sector was found to be -32, this is the least negative it has been since Winter 2009/2010.
Hiring intentions were also strong in the voluntary and not-for-profit sectors. However the report, surveying more than 1000 employers, did feature some bad news and the institute has warned that any optimism should be “tempered” by employers’ continued caution about the medium term, set against a backdrop of weak economic data.
Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD, explained that the continued unsettled economic situation might suggest greater volatility in the labour market during 2012.
“The jobs market is desperately seeking good news, so this latest set of positive figures is very welcome,” he said. “However, any short-term jobs recovery may not be sustained because of the zigzagging economic backdrop. News of a double-dip recession may cause some employers to reassess current staffing levels, especially while labour costs are rising and productivity is falling.”