UK employers are becoming increasingly concerned about the future of the economy a new survey has found.
The survey of 601 employers by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) found that 31 per cent of employers think the economy will worsen, while just 28 per cent expect it to improve.
Kevin Green chief executive of REC said that this should raise a red flag as uncertainty surrounding Brexit is creating nervousness. He called on the government to give businesses clarity on what a post Brexit UK jobs market will look like.
“The jobs market continues to do well despite growing uncertainty. However, this drop in employer confidence should raise a red flag,” he said.
“Businesses are continuing to hire to meet demand, but issues like access to labour, Brexit negotiations and political uncertainty are creating nervousness”
The JobsOutlook survey also found that 40 per cent of employers have no spare capacity with one in five planning to take on more permanent staff to meet additional demand in the next three months.
However employers are concerned about a lack of appropriate candidates particularly in the construction industry for both temporary and permanent positions.
Green said: “Employers in the construction sector are especially concerned as they rely heavily on EU workers to meet the growing demand for housing and to support the government’s infrastructure plans.”
“The government must do more to create an environment where businesses have clarity. That means clearly laying out what Brexit plans look like and how employers can keep recruiting the people they need from the EU. The jobs market is in a good place but employers will only continue to hire and invest if they feel assured about the future.”
Consumers confidence is also deterioratin. Market research group GfK’s index of consumer confidence fell to the level not seen since last year’s post-referendum low, in the aftermath of the Brexit low.
Green said: “The added factor of dropping consumer confidence is putting some businesses on edge. If people reduce their spending, businesses will be impacted.”