This picture masks more significant change in the public sector where nearly one in five (18%) employers are planning to reduce staffing levels.
Recruitment intentions remain strong. Overall, two-thirds (67%) of employers plan to recruit in the next three months, rising to 82% of public sector employers.
The level of employers who anticipate significant problems in filling vacancies over the next six months has fallen from 29% twelve months ago to 21% this quarter, indicating further easing in recruitment in the coming months.
Two in five (38%) employers surveyed have hard-to-fill vacancies, rising to more than half (51%) of public sector employers. The level of employers in the private sector with hard-to-fill vacancies is significantly lower at 34%.
Boys continues: “This feels like a key moment in the UK labour market. The public and private sector gap in pay expectations is widening again, at a time of mounting pressures on public services. More widely, employer attention is shifting from helping staff weather the cost-of-living crisis to focus on business sustainability and growth, which will impact headcount in some places. It’s crucial the workforce is seen as a key driver of productivity, profitability, and value for organisations, rather than a budget line item that can be easily cut to save costs. Investing in skills and training, people management and productivity gains will be fundamental in helping organisations to become future-proof and better able to weather economic headwinds when they come.”
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