British firms report strongest jobs intentions since the pandemic began

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Covid 19 outbreaks have sparked the strongest hiring by employers in the UK.

The share of firms intending to lay off employees in the first quarter fell from 30% to 20% quarter-on-quarter.

The most recent CIPD/Adecco Employment Outlook data showed that the proportion of firms planning on hiring new employees will increase to 56% for the first quarter, bringing the UK economy close to its jobless peak.

The number of net work intentions, which measures the difference between employers who expect to create new jobs and those who plan to reduce them, rose in the quarter to + +11 - the highest rate for a year.

More than half of respondents said they would be hiring new staff in the first quarter, compared to 53 per cent in the previous quarter and 49 per cent six months ago.

Employer confidence could be boosted by a mixture of factors including the Brexit free trade agreement, extended Coronavirus Employment Support Scheme until end April and anticipation of an economic revival later in the year.

Employers can still claim 80 per cent of an employee's wage, with a cut in the amount of unworked work hours to £2.500 a month.

The CIPD therefore urges the government to extend the coronavirus Employment Retaint Program until June at the very end of this year in order to benefit the sectors that are most affected by curbs.