According to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey (MEOS), UK employers maintained positive hiring confidence for all sectors in Q4 2023, although it decreased slightly by two percentage points to +27% compared to the previous quarter. This comprehensive employment survey, based on responses from 2,030 UK employers, is a key economic indicator used by the Bank of England and the UK Government.
Employers are facing the challenge of addressing skills gaps and making quick hiring decisions amid economic uncertainty. Work-life balance is a top priority for 47% of employers, and 36% are willing to hire older or long-term unemployed applicants. The Transport, Logistics, and Automotive sector shows the highest hiring intent increase due to the transition to Electric Vehicles (EVs).
Employers value communication, collaboration, and teamwork skills as the most important attributes in new hires. The survey also reveals increased intent to hire permanent, contracted/temporary, and gig workers in the next 12 months. The highest hiring intentions are reported in regions like West Midlands, East Midlands, and London. Industries with the strongest hiring outlooks include IT, Financials & Real Estate, and Healthcare & Life Sciences.