London firms reveal mixed hiring intentions


A report outlining the recruitment plans of firms in London for the coming quarter has shown mixed results.

Recruitment firm Manpower said that the measure – called an employment outlook – suggested there was no difference between the number of firms in the capital looking to cut jobs and the number looking to take on new workers.

Manpower’s employment outlook survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers, including hundreds in London, about whether they intended to hire additional workers in the coming months.

Manpower operations director for London, Paul Laurie, said: “There are of course still jobs available in London but it has never been more important to be flexible about your work requirements.

“Employers are continuing to see a mismatch in skills where the skills they need are either in a different area of the country or not available.

“Areas such as sales and telesales offer new opportunities for those willing to widen their skill set and try something new.”

On a national level, the employment outlook slipped for the first time in almost three years.

Laurie cited the impact of employment changes in the finance sector on the situation, both nationally and in the capital.

He said: “Six months ago it looked like the banks were going to lead the way out of recession and could even have filled the hole created by the slowdown in the public sector. The finance sector was hiring like nobody’s business, it was consistently the most optimistic sector post-recession but this has now fallen away quite dramatically over the summer.

“We’ve seen almost 50,000 jobs go in banking. Make no mistake, there are still jobs to be had in areas like retail banking, but in other areas of banking – there has been a real pull back and this is having an impact on the jobs market as a whole.”

Manpower said the results suggested a North-South divide was emerging, with a line running from the Humber in the North East to the Bristol Channel in the South West. Above the line, employees are predicting negative hiring intentions, but below that line, firms were broadly positive.

A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman said: “The Government is committed to support the economy and encourage businesses to invest and create jobs. The new Work Programme is now up and running and will offer jobseekers flexible support tailored to their needs to help them into employment.”