New data shows economic activity picking up: but redundancies are a concern

Responding to the latest economic activity and social change data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Ann Swain, Global CEO at the Association of Professional Staffing Companies (APSCo) said, “While the fall in online jobs noted in the latest statistics is to be expected given the summer holidays, the data does show that economic activity looks set to pick up again next month.

“With more businesses expecting their turnover to increase in September, the indicators suggest that positivity is on the cards for the remainder of the year.

“With inflation falling and GDP seeing better than expected growth, the recruitment market is likely to see an uplift in activity once again.

“However, skills shortages remain a significant challenge across many sectors, which makes the planned redundancy figures in today’s publication a concern.

“As we saw during the pandemic, employers that cut staff found it difficult to replace them once the economic recovery began.

“Businesses stripping back resources now may face a similar problem in the coming quarter.”

Dan Don, Head of Nuclear at Astute, “Despite the wider trend of a fall in the number of online jobs, we’ve seen exceptional demand for both permanent and contract recruitment across the business.

“Across the energy sector, there are very real talent shortages, something exacerbated by a change in working preferences triggered by the pandemic, as well as competition for sector specialists, with many organisations vying for the same talent pool.

“In the nuclear sector, we are encouraging clients to consider the transferrable skills of candidates from other industries, especially when a security clearance is needed to work on-site, which further limits the talent pool.

“Equally, we are seeing high demand for contractors who can plug skills gaps at short notice and enable key projects to progress.

“Mirroring Ann’s point on post-pandemic recruitment, the nuclear businesses that scaled back during the initial lockdown phases have found it a lot trickier to entice talent as their employee value proposition is weaker than that of a business that retained its talent during tough times.”

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