Companies in the UK remain positive about hiring intentions according to a new report.
The latest Business Trends Report from accountant and business advisor firm BDO said that Employers’ hiring intentions are at a “sky high” level and stronger than in the pre-recession boom reports the Guardian.
The report gave an employment index reading of 113.0 for March, a similar reading to February’s report and well above the 100 level which indicates growth above the long-term trend. BDO found that employers plan to continue hiring more staff but they do have concerns about Britain’s strategy to raise productivity.
The report said: “The hiring intentions of UK firms are at ‘sky-high’ levels with figures stronger than the heady days of the mid-2000s boom.” Meanwhile, BDO’s optimism index, showing business confidence, remained well above the 100 mark.
There was a note of concern in the reports which pointed to the static level of British workers’ output per hour, with the trend “unique amongst advanced economies”. Recent figures from the Office of National Statistics showed productivity failing to grow since 2007 – a trend unprecedented in the post-war period.
BDO partner, Peter Hemington, said: “While it is encouraging to see strong business confidence, the UK’s continuing poor labour productivity performance is a very significant concern.
“Although employment growth in recent years has been strong, much of this has been in part-time jobs. Productivity ultimately determines our prosperity, so it is a crucial area that must be addressed. Policy makers of all persuasions must take on this productivity puzzle.”