ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q2 2021

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter 2021 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 1,515 employers in the UK.

All survey participants were asked, “How do you anticipate total employment at your location to change in the three months to the end of June 2021 as compared to the current quarter?” Interviewing was carried out during the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 outbreak.

The survey findings for the second quarter of 2021 are likely to reflect the impact of the global health emergency, and may be notably different to previous quarters.

The survey results for this quarter report that:

  • UK still the least optimistic country in Europe despite leading the vaccine rollout
  • However, a sense of optimism has returned to Britain’s largest employers
  • Finance and business services sees post-Brexit hiring slump

The UK’s rapid vaccine roll-out is yet to translate into a bounce in hiring levels. The UK’s jobs Outlook saw a one-point improvement on the quarter to -5%, remaining the least optimistic in Europe. But in the wake of large-scale job losses at some of the country’s best-known businesses, optimism is now surging among the UK’s biggest employers.

Chris Gray, Director, ManpowerGroup UK says: “The UK may be leading the way on the COVID vaccine roll-out, but it’s still the comparative sick man of Europe when it comes to hiring optimism. This has been the weakest twelve months for the UK’s jobs Outlook in 30 years – much worse than the 2008-9 crisis. However, with unemployment expected to peak at 6.5% next year, far lower than 11.9% previously predicted, the hope remains that hiring confidence will snap back as the economy reopens. But the current message is clear: most employers are cautiously observing the impact of the vaccine roll-out and the longer-term effects of Brexit before taking major decisions on recruitment.”