Recruitment Confidence Shows North/South Divide

New figures have shown that there is a sharp divide between the recruitment confidence felt by businesses in the North and the South of England. 

The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey has shown that a distinct line can be drawn to demarcate the division, running from the River Humber in the North East down to the Bristol Channel. North of the line, employers predicted negative hiring intentions of -2 per cent, while south of the line - including all of the South East of England - they predicted positive hiring intentions of +6 per cent. 

The sector with the most positive outlook was utilities, with employers in the water, gas and electricity industries stating that they had recruitment intentions of +10 per cent. Confidence for the finance and business services sector show a marked fall, however, to +6 per cent, from +10 and +11 per cent in the previous quarters. 

Manpower's Mark Cahill said that the fall in recruitment confidence in the finance sector was a little concerning. 

"Six months ago it looked like the banks were going to lead the way out of recession and could even have filled the hole created by the slowdown in the public sector," he explained. "Make no mistake, there are still jobs to be had in areas like retail banking, but in other areas of banking - there has been a real pull back and this is having an impact on the jobs market as a whole." 

However Geoff Newman from flat fee recruitment company RecruitmentGenius.com feels the problem could be more attributable to public sector redundancies.

“Despite politics largely being held in London, most public sector workers are based in the North of England and Wales. The continuing public sector cuts are therefore particularly damaging to these areas that do not have such a vibrant private sector economy such as the South East. Furthermore over 32% of businesses are based in London and South East England, therefore naturally there is more employment.”

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