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Employment outlook declines in Wales for second quarter in a row says Manpower survey

Job Centre PlusSurvey says Wales is seeing an hourglass jobs economy with demand at the top and bottom while the middle remains squeezed

The Employment Outlook for Wales has declined for the second quarter running according to Manpower.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,102 employers across the UK.

It found strong demand for people with secretarial and office-based expertise, with niche skills such as medical secretarial experience particularly sought after inSwansea.

In Bridgend there was a requirement for semi-skilled industrial workers in areas such as industrial maintenance.

“The Outlook for Wales may have dipped slightly this quarter, but there are still plenty of opportunities out there, especially when it comes to full time employment,” said Andrew Shellard, Operations Manager for Wales at Manpower UK.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of permanent vacancies and there are more full time jobs out there than part time, which suggests to us that employers are starting to feel more confident.

“We’re seeing a diverse picture in the market, with different roles driving recruitment in different areas. Around Swansea, there’s strong demand for those with secretarial and office-based expertise, with niche skills such as medical secretarial experience particularly sought after. The picture is different in Bridgend, where there’s a requirement for semi-skilled industrial workers in areas such as industrial maintenance.

“Corporate activity in the region is also having an impact on jobs. There have been some medium sized businesses in the region taken over by larger corporations in the last quarter, leading to rationalisation of their workforces. This has resulted in an increase in candidates in the 35-50 age bracket seeking permanent positions.”

The UK’s National Employment Outlook of +6%, down from the third quarter of 2014 when the Outlook was +8%, shows employers are scaling back their recruitment plans in the fourth quarter of 2014. T

The UK jobs market is cooling down following an unprecedented boom so far in 2014, when job creation peaked at its highest level since records began in 1971 raising questions about whether this phenomenal level of growth is sustainable.

The fourth quarter’s Outlook suggests it isn’t, with a two point fall in hiring intentions – the sharpest dip we’ve seen in three years.

Despite the overall slowdown in hiring intentions some areas of unprecedented demand and acute skills shortages are changing the shape of the UK employment market.

James Hick, managing director of ManpowerGroup Solutions, said: “While the pace of jobs growth has slowed, we are actually seeing the emergence of an hourglass jobs economy, with an abundance of demand at the top and bottom, while the middle remains squeezed.

“At the top of the hourglass we are seeing huge demand for skilled IT, finance and engineering candidates and our professional sourcing division has placed a record number of people to address skills shortages in these areas.

“While salary growth across the UK as a whole remains constrained, these sectors are bucking the trend as high demand is driving up pay.”

The picture across the UK is mixed going into the fourth quarter of 2014. London’s Outlook of +9% represented a strong bounce of eight points as the capital’s employers ended 2014 at their most optimistic level of the year.

Along with the West Midlands, the East Midlands topped the charts with an Outlook of +12%. Also strongly positive is Yorkshire and Humberside, which finished a good year with a two point increase in Outlook to +10%. In contrast, the Outlook in the South West fell into negative territory with an Outlook of -4%.

The South East Outlook dipped three points to +7% from +10% in the last quarter, but remains marginally above the UK rate. Northern Ireland (+2%) reported hiring intentions below the national average, however the picture has improved with a six point jump to a positive Outlook after two quarters languishing in negative territory.

The last quarter indicated that employers in Scotland remained confident about their hiring plans in the run up to the referendum.

As September 18 draws closer, this confidence appears to have taken a tumble with a six point fall in the Scottish Outlook to +3%.




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