Employers sanguine about prospect of another coalition government

Almost two thirds (64 per cent) of employers say the prospect of another coalition government after 7th May would have no impact on their confidence to make decisions about investment and hiring, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC)

The REC asked people with hiring responsibilities in 200 organisations what impact the formation of another coalition government would have on their plans for job creation. Just 1 in 25 (4 per cent) thought the scenario where no one party achieved an outright majority in Parliament would have a negative impact on their hiring plans, just under a third (32 per cent) were undecided.

The key findings from the regular monthly survey of 600 employers found that:

  • The proportion with no spare workforce capacity increased from 39 per cent in March to 45 per cent. A further 51 per cent reported having only ‘a little capacity’ to take on more work with current staffing levels.
  • 74 per cent plan to hire more permanent employees in the next three months.
  • 81 per cent say they will increase permanent headcount over the next 4-12 months.
  • 38 per cent plan to increase use of agency workers in the next 3 months, with a further 58 per cent maintaining current headcount.
  • 45 per cent say they will take on more agency workers over the next 4-12 months while a further 54 per cent say they will maintain current numbers.

REC chief executive Kevin Green says:

“If you think back to 2010 there was a lot of uncertainty about the impact a coalition government might have on the stability of our nation and our economy. After five years’ experience of a coalition our survey shows that employers are relatively sanguine about the possibility of another multi-party government after May with the vast majority indicating a result that fails to deliver one clear winner won’t disrupt their plans for job creation.

“The biggest challenge, and a real constraint on continued growth in our economy, is the lack of candidates with the right skills to fill the vacancies employers have to offer. Employment is at a record high, and yet businesses say they will need more staff if demand for their products or services increases. It’s good news for jobseekers and people looking to move roles, but it’s a headache for bosses as candidates become harder and harder to find.

“Whichever party or parties form the next government must take a sensible, evidence-based approach to immigration policy which doesn’t hamper employers’ abilities to build their businesses and create jobs and wealth.”