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Issue:- 12 June 2014


THE pace of hiring in the North West is gaining momentum, up on last quarter at +7%, and only marginally below the national average of +8%, according to Manpower, the global leader in contingent and permanent recruitment workforce solutions.

Job prospects for the region have improved for the first time this year, fuelled by a number of companies moving their head offices to the area and demand for both temporary and permanent candidates.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,101 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.

The national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook of +8% indicates that the jobs market is up on the second quarter of 2014 when the Outlook was +7%. 

Employers in the North West are looking to increase headcount, and this uptick in the market is encouraging previously passive candidates to enquire about the opportunities available.

"We're seeing a noticeable improvement in employment prospects across the North West, after a positive but flat first half of the year. There is still a high volume of applications for roles, but the market is getting frothier and this has been felt by candidates. We're now seeing candidates who aren't currently looking for a job putting out feelers to see what's out there, which is a good sign of improving confidence.  Manchester in particular has benefitted from a number of companies moving their head offices to the City and looking to expand their workforces across a variety of skills. This is sending out a strong message, particularly as the vast majority of roles are permanent. But with an abundance of quality candidates, competition is high. In Liverpool, it's more of a mixed picture: the number of opportunities available is catching up with the number of job seekers, but this is in part because many companies in this area require specific skills which aren't available in the candidate pool, creating a backlog of vacancies. We're seeing this dynamic particularly in transport and distribution, where there's a challenge to attract people with the niche skills required. Similarly in Preston, despite strong demand for salespeople, there is a lack of candidates in this area with proven skills, so those who meet the brief can achieve competitive salaries." says Greg Hollis, Operations Manager at Manpower UK.

Going into the ¾ of 2014, there is optimism across all of the UK's regions with the exception of Northern Ireland (-5%). It is the only region expecting to shed jobs in the next three months. The South West tops the regional table, improving strongly to +15%, while the East of England isn't far behind on +12%. The East Midlands (+11%), the South East (+9%) and the West Midlands (+9%) all exceed the national average, while Yorkshire and Humberside is in line with the national picture at +8%. Below the national average, but still showing positive hiring intentions are the North East (+6%), Wales (+4%) and London (+1%). 

Mark Cahill, ManpowerGroup UK Managing Director said:- "From a national perspective, consistency has been the byword for the UK's Employment Outlook over the last 18 months. While job prospects have been strong, it's only now that we're seeing a return to pre-recession hiring plans. What's more, we're seeing broad based growth across permanent roles, the self employed and contractors."

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