ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey – Q4 2019

 In Evolution of Talent

The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter 2019 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 September 2019 as compared to the current quarter?”

The survey results for this quarter report that:

  • Brexit recruitment drives employment Outlook to +5%, a 9-month high
  • Business Services, Construction and Manufacturing scramble to secure talent
  • South East buoyed by demand for Border Force officers ahead of Oct 31st deadline

With the latest Brexit deadline a month away, UK employers are again looking to stockpile talent and shore up their workforces. In a virtual re-run of behavior seen at the start of the year – which saw UK employers looking to hire people in response to the original Brexit deadline of March 29th – hiring intentions for the fourth quarter are up two percentage points to +5%, the highest level since the start of the year.

James Hick, Managing Director ManpowerGroup Enterprise: “It’s Groundhog Day in the UK jobs market. The stockpiling of raw materials and goods surged in the first three months of 2019, driven by the need to protect supply chains against the potential impact of a hard Brexit. But they also did the same with their workforces, taking on staff to help navigate choppy waters. The extra economic activity even helped boost the UK’s growth figures in Q1 2019, before the surprise contraction in Q2.

“With a no deal scenario on October 31st looking ever more likely, employers across the board are once again experiencing ‘stockhiring syndrome’ in the attempt to Brexit-proof their businesses in the final three months of the year. 2019 turns out to be a U-shaped year, with weaker Q2 and Q3 data bookended by spikes in the first and last quarters.”

The strengthening employment Outlook has broad foundations, with six out of nine industrial sectors and nine out of twelve regions and nations reporting a rise in hiring intentions. The Finance and Business Services sector is up three points to +6%, its highest level in over a year. Retail & hospitality, Construction, and Manufacturing are also up.