Workforce to grow across the regions next year, bolstered by flexible working

Workforce to grow throughout the country in 2014The management issues which dominated 2013 centred on the rise of flexible working; if pay scales would remain below inflation; and whether jobs recovery would continue and if so, could expand beyond the fringes of London. As today’s ONS figures show unemployment at the lowest rate since 2009, the latest CBI/Accenture Employment Trends Survey reveals that more than half of UK companies expect to create jobs over the next 12 months for the first time in over five years. It says private sector workforces are anticipated to grow across all regions, Yorkshire and Humberside and the east midlands being the most buoyant. Bosses will continue to take a cautious approach to pay however, with flexible contracts used to bolster economic growth and job creation.

Commenting on the findings of On the Up, which covers businesses employing more than one million people between them, Katja Hall, CBI Chief Policy Director, said: “We’re starting to see the recovery have an impact on business plans to hire, with more than half of firms boosting staff numbers next year and more opportunities for young people.

“It’s good to see jobs being created across most regions, not just London and the south-east. Our labour market performed well throughout the recession and pay caution and flexible contracts will continue to underpin growth.”

The report finds that businesses shall continue to take a cautious approach to pay rises with more than a third (39%) planning a rise below Retail Price Index (RPI) inflation or targeting an increase on certain staff only, while only 7 per cent intend to raise pay by more than RPI. 42 per cent expect pay to increase in line with RPI inflation, which suggests pay growth will start to rise again over the next year, but not to high levels. As the recovery becomes more secure, the proportion of firms planning to freeze pay at the next review has dropped to a new low (8%).

Almost all firms (97%) see flexible employment patterns, such as use of agency workers and zero-hour contracts, as either vital or important to the UK economy.

On the up is available to download here.