ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q4 2021

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter 2021 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 2,033 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 December 2021 as compared to the current quarter?”

The survey results for this quarter report that:

  • Employment Outlook at record high
  • Hiring returns to the capital as London’s Outlook bounces 53 points year-on-year
  • Over a quarter of employers set to increase wages to attract and retain talent

Employers in the UK have ambitious plans to increase their headcount at a record rate as they enter the fourth quarter, according to the latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. As London powers ahead of other regions, the national Outlook is at an all-time high of +32%, a 39-point increase compared to Q4 2020 as the UK adapts to life post-lockdown. Similarly, all sectors have swung back from negative Outlooks in 2020 to record highs for this coming quarter.

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,033 UK employers. The research asks employers in the UK if they intend to hire additional workers, maintain current headcount or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter (October to December). It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic indicator by both the Bank of England and the UK Government. This coming quarter, a record, half of all employers (50%) intend to increase headcounts.

“The labour market has roared back to life for the fourth quarter, and it has topped last quarter’s already record Outlook to hit +32%,” said Chris Gray, Director, ManpowerGroup UK. “This follows the rapid vaccine rollout across the UK and the end of restrictions this summer. However, the market is still reeling from Brexit and the turmoil of the last 18 months and demand for talent is fast outstripping supply. It’s a perfect storm.

“More than a quarter of employers in the UK are increasing wages as an incentive to fill roles, however we need to see a comparable rise in productivity to sustain these wage bumps. Some are turning to other benefits to entice new workers, we’re seeing many offer joining bonuses, additional annual leave, enhanced training opportunities and hybrid working options – such as employees selecting their own shifts. These non-financial incentives are particularly popular in industries such as hospitality and retail where profit margins don’t allow significant wage increases. Some of these changes aren’t sustainable as a long-term solution to the talent gap. Employers need to think carefully about their potential to upskill and reskill workers in preparation for potential ongoing talent supply issues.”

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