The regular monthly reports from different organisations on the state of the UK economy and business confidence continue to differ as February 2012 comes to an end.
The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) asks a selection of 600 employers each month for their future intentions on employment and tracks the changes month by month to produce a picture of levels of confidence.
The February bulletin contained some small signs for optimism for those a href=http://www.rmsrecruitment.com%20candidates/ahoping to find a position, make a career move or change jobs. 65 per cent of those asked, a small increase on the previous month, said they were intending to take on more permanent staff in the next three months according to the latest REC data. 30 per cent of them were intending to remain at their current levels.
The demand for temporary staff also continued to be high with around 82% of employers intending to increase their temporary workers or keep the numbers at the same levels for the next three months.
Continuing shortages of professional and managerial staff were also highlighted by employers, which suggests that for candidates with these skills it continues to be a good time to be looking. However, on the whole employers were more confident in the short term than if they were asked to look 12 months ahead.
By contrast the most recent report from the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) was a good deal more pessimistic, reporting a weakening of the service sector with a sharp drop in positions in customer services, such as hotels, pubs and restaurants, and a drop in trade for business services like accountancy and the legal profession. Despit this a CBI spokesman said the signs were that the drop in trade was beginning to level out and it also found that the numbers employed in business services rose for the fourth quarter in a row.
Another report, however, from purchasing managers by Markit/CIPS was more positive and revealed that in January the service sector was growing at its fastest rate since March 2011.
It is difficult for job seekers and candidates seeking to move up the career ladder, perhaps from secretary to PA or EA, to have a clear sense of the future. The widely differing reports above suggest that the one thing that can be said with certainty is that the outlook is likely to remain changeable for both employers and job seekers.
This means that candidates will continue to have to make sure their CVs stand out from the rest, that their preparation for interviews is a thorough as possible and that they should use very resource available to them, from signing on with a specialist a href=http://www.rmsrecruitment.com%20recruitment agency/a to taking extra training to boost their portfolio of skills.
On the other hand it does not suggest that the prospects for employment are getting any worse for those candidates who make the effort to prepare properly.