ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q2 2020

10 March 2020
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The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the second quarter 2020 was conducted by interviewing a representative sample of 2,102 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 2020 as compared to the current quarter?”

The survey results for this quarter report that:

  • National Outlook saw post-election hiring intentions double in Q2 2020 from Q1
  • North of England set to surge ahead while London stalled.

After a string of Brexit false starts and the UK’s third general election in five years, employers are set to increase hiring on the back of newfound political certainty, according to the Q2 ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey. However, the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus may put the brakes on this new-found confidence.

Employers in all sectors across the UK intended to take on staff in the second quarter of 2020, bringing the national Outlook to +4%. The picture was particularly bright in the North of England where employers in regions such as Yorkshire and the Humber reported an Outlook of +12%.

Mark Cahill, Managing Director, ManpowerGroup UK says: “The good news is that UK employers have been buoyed by greater clarity over Brexit after December’s general election – and a level of political stability not seen since before the 2016 referendum. Q1 was the weakest outlook in nearly a decade, but the data for Q2 had bounced back to +4%. This is a good indicator of employer hiring intentions that we hope will continue.”

The survey was conducted before the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) escalated globally. Cahill again: “While it is too early to predict the potential impact of Covid-19 on hiring, we are hearing from employers with global supply chains that they are considering altering their hiring plans to take into account access to materials, slowing business demand and staff availability. The UK has faced a great deal of uncertainty in recent years and employers have remained resilient in the face of previous challenges; early indications from our clients suggests employers remain calm and are preparing their contingency plans.”