The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) annual employment survey suggests that the UK jobs market will defy the Brexit gloom in 2017.
The latest CBI research found that “almost every part” of the private sector is expecting to hire more staff over the next 12 months.
In total, 41 per cent of companies expect to expand their workforces in 2017, compared with just 13 per cent who believe that their payrolls will shrink.
The survey polled 353 large and small businesses which employ almost 1.2 million people, and found that the pace of jobs creation is likely to be highest in the science, IT and construction industries.
The results of this latest survey will come as a surprise to many. The CBI’s own survey prior to Brexit had warned that the economy could lose 950,000 jobs by 2020 as a result of the UK leaving the EU, while the Treasury said Brexit would see half a million jobs lost.
“With record employment levels, more people than ever are now in work and the strengths of the UK labour market look set to yield positive results over the course of 2017,” said Josh Hardie, CBI deputy-director general. “Businesses are 100 per cent committed to making the best of Brexit. However, this year’s survey does show a greater sense of concern about the UK’s long-term attractiveness as a place to create jobs.”
Hardie also warned that some companies could face issues getting access to “highly skilled migrants” if the UK limits immigration from the EU after Brexit.
“The Government should build on the positive moves it has already made to dispel uncertainty by drawing up plans for a smooth transition, giving firms both the time to adapt to new regulations and the confidence to invest beyond 2019,” Hardie added.
Article published 19th December 2016