December 5, 2021

Almost Half U.K. Firms Plan to Cut or Freeze Hiring, CBI Says

(Bloomberg) — Almost half of firms plan to cut hiring or not recruit at all over the next year, the U.K.’s biggest business lobby group said, adding to the gloom surrounding the country’s job market.



a group of people standing outside of a building: A pedestrian walks in view of skyscrapers, including 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as The Walkie Talkie, 22 Bishopgate, The Leadenhall Building, also known as The Cheesegrater, The Scalpel, and 30 St. Mary's Axe, also known as the Gherkin, in London, U.K., on Friday, July 31, 2020. London's best offices are forecast to plunge in value by as much as 15% this year as the coronavirus hits rents and investors' appetite for real estate.


© Bloomberg
A pedestrian walks in view of skyscrapers, including 20 Fenchurch Street, also known as The Walkie Talkie, 22 Bishopgate, The Leadenhall Building, also known as The Cheesegrater, The Scalpel, and 30 St. Mary’s Axe, also known as the Gherkin, in London, U.K., on Friday, July 31, 2020. London’s best offices are forecast to plunge in value by as much as 15% this year as the coronavirus hits rents and investors’ appetite for real estate.

While 51% of companies said they plan to expand or maintain recruitment levels, 46% said they would not, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s annual survey, which drew responses from 248 firms. The positive balance of 5% was down from +56% last year, the CBI said.

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The survey comes three days after official data showed the U.K. has shed 700,000 jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with the unemployment rate increasing to 4.1% from 3.9%.

Economists warn that might be the calm before the storm, predicting as many as 3 million people may be out of work by the end of the year, up from 1.4 million currently. That’s because the government’s furlough program, currently supporting 1 in 10 jobs, is due to end on Oct. 31.

“The U.K. labor market has been under heavy stress since the outset of the Covid-19 crisis and, although the economy has started to re-open, pressure on firms remains acute,” CBI Chief U.K. Policy Director Matthew Fell said in a statement. “With ongoing social distancing, higher costs, lower demand, local lockdowns and fears of a second wave, firms are tempering their recruitment plans.”



a tall building in a city: Skyscrapers, 22 Bishopgate, The Leadenhall Building, also known as The Cheesegrater, The Scalpel, and 30 St. Mary's Axe, also known as the Gherkin, stand in London, U.K., on Friday, July 31, 2020. London's best offices are forecast to plunge in value by as much as 15% this year as the coronavirus hits rents and investors' appetite for real estate.


© Bloomberg
Skyscrapers, 22 Bishopgate, The Leadenhall Building, also known as The Cheesegrater, The Scalpel, and 30 St. Mary’s Axe, also known as the Gherkin, stand in London, U.K., on Friday, July 31, 2020. London’s best offices are forecast to plunge in value by as much as 15% this year as the coronavirus hits rents and investors’ appetite for real estate.

Other findings of the survey, carried out in conjunction with recruitment company Pertemps, include:

A balance of +7% of firms expect their workforce to be bigger in a year’s time, compared to +28% in last year’s surveySome 48% will examine options to restructure their companyA third of companies plan to freeze pay across all rolesHalf of companies said, in light of the pandemic, they’d taken steps to protect jobs, including through reducing working hours, cutting bonuses and slashing overtime pay

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©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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