West Midlands jobs prospects are the best they’ve been for four years, according to new research from a recruitment agency.
The region’s employment outlook has increased by two percentage points since three months ago, to five per cent in the fourth quarter of 2012, according to recruitment agency Manpower.
This is the third consecutive quarter of positivity for the region and the most optimistic outlook since the second quarter of 2008, the company said.
The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey asks 2,100 employers if they intend to hire or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming economic quarter.
The national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook of three per cent indicates that the jobs market is firmly in positive territory, building on promise shown in the third quarter of 2012 when the Outlook was two per cent.
Krissie Davies, operations director at Manpower, said: “This is the most positive outlook the region has seen in over four years, so we are encouraged by the optimism felt by employers in the region.
“Traditionally, the West Midlands has lagged behind its neighbour in the east, but we’ve finally caught up and are enjoying the optimism.
“Whether it’s manufacturers, data management companies or the finance sector, the West Midlands is definitely seeing a boost.
“The automotive sector continues to be the backbone of the region, including those companies who make caravans – people in the UK are enjoying ‘staycations’ which is great for the West Midlands.”
The latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey figures also show that for the first time in four years, UK employers of all sizes are hiring.
Finance and business services is the most positive sector for the fourth quarter with a nine per cent outlook, manufacturing employers report an encouraging five per cent outlook, with employers in the utilities sector registering the same.
Construction remains firmly in negative territory with an outlook of an eight per cent decrease, albeit a small improvement on the last survey.
James Hick, UK managing director at ManpowerGroup Solutions, said: “These figures demonstrate that the uptick in the jobs market is no flash in the pan.
“The outlook is brighter for candidates, especially for those who are prepared to show flexibility when it comes to finding and securing a job.
“Permanent posts with regular hours aren’t in as much abundance as they used to be, but that doesn’t have to be a negative.
“There is well rewarded work out there especially for those who are prepared to tool up, get ready for work and demonstrate they’ve got in-demand skills.”