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Last Updated: Tuesday, 14 March 2006, 07:24 GMT
Companies 'taking on more staff'
Staring at the screen
The outlook for the jobs market is looking brighter
UK employers are planning to hire more staff in the coming months, but two out of five firms find it hard to find skilled workers, a report has said.

After surveying 2,100 firms, recruitment company Manpower found that 19% expected to increase their staff numbers in the next three months.

Three-quarters expected no change and only 6% expected to cut jobs.

Manpower said confidence was highest among employers in the finance and business services sectors.

High bonuses in the City of London and a bullish stock market are fuelling this positive atmosphere, Manpower said.

Meanwhile, manufacturing companies reported their best outlook since 1998 on the back of improved exports levels and inward investment.

An uplift in the leisure sector has also boosted employment hopes in the hotel and retail sector, the report said.

Skills shortage

Firms in the north-east of England were the most optimistic about taking on new workers in the next few months, while the South West was the only part of the country where job cuts were forecast.

Success in the markets is breeding success in recruitment as companies seek to maximise potential new business opportunities
Mark Cahill, Manpower

"The uplift in hiring intentions we saw at the start of the year is continuing across all business sectors and almost all regions of the UK," said Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower.

"Success in the markets is breeding success in recruitment as companies seek to maximise potential new business opportunities."

However, nearly 40% of employers reported difficulties in recruiting people with the right skills.

"So it has never been more important for employers to pay close attention to the salary, benefits and career opportunities they offer their staff," Mr Cahill added.

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