Cautious optimism in Yorkshire & The Humber

Yorkshire and Humberside’s employment outlook has risen two points on the previous quarter, according to Manpower.

At +4 per cent, hiring intentions in the region have increased, but still lag two points below the national average of +6 per cent.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers. It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.

It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK government.

“While the region is still a little below the national average, it’s pleasing to see an improving outlook for jobs in Yorkshire and Humberside. York in particular is leading the way, with steady increases across sectors, and strong demand for qualified trades and customer services.

“Hull also has a strong jobs market, and those with technical and IT skills are in high demand, together with applicants who have customer service experience,” said Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower.

“However, it’s a less positive picture in the rest of the region. In South Yorkshire the market is stable, but not bullish, and there are bright spots such as opportunities in call centres and positions in the NHS. West Yorkshire – and the Leeds market in particular – is the most cautious area in the region.

“The oil price decline is having a noticeable impact on local industry – particularly companies manufacturing products for use in the energy sector – and some have put a freeze on hiring because of this. However, solid demand for technical engineers elsewhere in the manufacturing sector bucks this trend. So it is certainly not all doom and gloom.”

Going into the second quarter of 2015, the national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook remains at +6 per cent for the third successive quarter, indicating that the UK jobs market continues to plot a steadily optimistic course. Interestingly, there has been a surprise jump in public sector hiring intentions in the run-up to the general election as the jobs Outlook has climbed 10 points on last quarter to +12 per cent, its most optimistic level for four years.

Even though, with austerity cuts across government departments, people might think that public sector hiring would be in the doldrums, what we are actually seeing is the reverse. In contrast, private companies, although hardly stalling with an Outlook of +7 per cent, may be sitting on their hands and taking a ‘wait and see’ approach to the outcome in May.

With the exception of Scotland, all of the UK regions are optimistic going into the second quarter. The East and West Midlands record the strongest hiring intentions this quarter, at +11 per cent and +12 per cent respectively together with the North West at +11 per cent. These regions are big hubs for the Utilities sector, in which the Outlook for jobs has risen to +18 per cent, its highest level for eight years. 

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