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No Joy for Job Hunters as Recruitment Stays Stable

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Job seekers should be wary of reports that the recruitment market is bouncing back, warn researchers from the Recruitment Confidence Index.

The Recruitment Confidence Index (RCI), a quarterly trends survey published by Cranfield School of Management and the Daily Telegraph, suggests recruitment activity will remain stable but won’t be booming over the next six months.

The number of employers predicting a rise in recruitment activity is down from 55% last quarter to 51%, while the number of employers predicting no change in the number of hires over the next six months is up from 31% to 35%.

When it comes to recruiting managers and professional staff, the number of employers predicting a rise in activity is down from 39% three months ago to 32% this quarter.

But the vast majority – 61% – say the number of managers and professionals they hire will stay the same.

The RCI has been reporting low levels of business confidence over the past year, this quarter there are slightly more pessimists than optimists, but the majority of employers (62%) are reserving their judgement and have remained neutral about business confidence.

Professor Shaun Tyson from Cranfield School of Management said: “We have been saying for some time that, although the UK economy has been performing well, there are potential problems ahead at home and abroad, which help explain why business confidence remains so flat.

“At home, the housing market has been fuelling UK demand but the price increases that we have seen are probably unsustainable. There are also fears that government spending plans will force up taxes.

“Looking abroad, there is the uncertainty surrounding the Middle East and threats of global terrorism but there is also the possibility that after the Presidential election in the USA, and the General Election in the UK, taxes will rise in both countries.”

Other findings this quarter include:

· Manufacturers are more positive than their service sector colleagues. Recruitment activity and numbers on the payroll are set to go up over the next six months.
· Unfilled vacancies and staff turnover rates are both forecast to fall slightly
· Sales staff and accountants will be in most demand over the next six months

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