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Businesses remain cautious as unemployment continues to fall

Posted on 21/02/2014 by Jamie Horton in Category Managed Services
Many would agree that this week’s Office for National Statistics stats indicate optimism as overall unemployment levels decrease by 125,000 on the quarter. This decline suggests that the economic recovery, although gradual, is continuing.

However, the more interesting insights into buoyancy about economic recovery can actually be seen in the temporary labour statistics which ​indicate that temporary labour is up 0.8% on the quarter, yet down 0.2% on the year.

The year on year decrease of temporary labour by 0.2%, is the interesting figure, because on the surface it appears that businesses are gaining in confidence and looking to hire more permanent employees.  The reality is a slightly more cautious approach. While many organisations are preparing for an anticipated increase in demand our data suggests that they remain reluctant to make permanent hires. The reason for this is clear. Our own data on the types of temporary labour hired and the reason for hire shows that businesses no longer see temporary labour as a ‘high volume, low skill’ solution. In fact, over the past few years there has been a dramatic increase in the volume of temporary workers in professional office job categories (up by 20%) and in information technology (up by 24%) as well as smaller increases in senior management/executive positions.

Businesses now recognise that they can hire highly skilled, professional, temporary workers who can be placed into a wide range of roles including managerial and top level executive positions. Therefore, demand remains for temporary workers remains strong and across a wider than ever range of job categories.

After all, temporary labour is still able to provide businesses with a flexible workforce option that they can change depending on their business needs. In turn, this helps them to control their costs better and make more efficient use of their resources.​​​