Brexit uncertainty killing businesses' hiring plans as talent shortage hits North West

A new employment survey used as a key economic statistic by both the Bank of England and the UK Government has revealed that hiring plans in the North West have stalled amid severe a Brexit-caused talent shortage.

Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 9:26 am
Updated Tuesday, 12th March 2019, 9:58 am
Top-end hiring in the North West is stalling as a result of Brexit uncertainty.

Employers are holding off on executing planned growth due to Brexit fears according to the latest UK Employment Outlook Survey from ManpowerGroup, which says that the lack of talent remains "a key challenge for employers looking to recruit," leaving businesses wary of hiring in the coming financial quarter.

As per the survey - based on responses from 2,142 UK employers - the region’s outlook of +3% is below the UK average, prompting ManpowerGroup's Director Jason Greaves to comment: “With so much uncertainty surrounding Brexit, it’s difficult for employers in the North West to plan resourcing in the short-term.

"While we’re seeing strong demand for workers in manufacturing and engineering across the region, the lack of candidates is further hampering recruitment efforts," Mr Greaves added. “With strong applicants in short supply, employers are faced with a very candidate-driven market."

Adding to the sense of pressure, the downbeat Finance and Business Services sector has fallen five points to -1% in what is only the second time in the last decade it has been in negative territory. The sector has now recorded its least optimistic year since the depths of the financial crisis in 2009, while the Transport, Storage and Comms sector has recorded a negative Employment Outlook for three straight quarters - its least optimistic Outlook since 2010.

"The best candidates will often have the pick of a number of different jobs or temporary assignments at any one time; in a battle to attract and hold on to top talent, employers must ensure their salaries and benefits packages are in line with or exceed the trends in the region," Mr Greaves added. "Employers also need to be quick to secure the right person – not moving fast enough runs the risk of losing vital talent to their competitors.”