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Defying forecasts

Jobs market bounces back to pre-pandemic levels

Employment law

Hiring is on the rise

Scottish employers are indicating stronger employment intentions, with confidence surpassing pre-pandemic levels, according to new research. 

The latest CIPD Labour Market Outlook survey, found that its net employment intentions figure, shows more employers intending to recruit than shed workers in the third quarter, defying earlier expectations of widespread job cuts.

More than two-thirds (67%) of Scottish employers plan to recruit in the three months to September 2021, up from 45% six months ago and 41% this time last year.  

Lee Ann Panglea, Head of CIPD Scotland and Northern Ireland, the professional body for HR and people development, said:   “Employers are very optimistic, indicating strong recruitment intentions, and redundancy expectations appear much lower than originally predicted during the pandemic. 

“As the furlough scheme winds down, employers will no longer be able to flex their workforce to meet demand by rapidly expanding and contracting staffing levels at minimal cost. Recruitment and retention will have to pick up the slack as employers look to plug any gaps in their workforce.” 

Key findings:

·       The number of Scottish employers looking to make redundancies has settled around 9%, compared to 32% in summer 2020. With the survey covering the period up to the end of September, this suggests that the end of the furlough scheme should be a relatively smooth transition with minimal job losses.  

·       Over three quarters (77%) of Scottish employers are planning a pay review in the 12 months to June 2022. Among these employers, over a third (37%) expect a pay increase, 7% expect a pay freeze and just 2% expect a pay decrease. Two-fifths (39%) said it is hard to tell and will depend on organisational performance.  

·       Median basic pay settlements across the UK remain at 2%, the same as last quarter. This is a slight uptick from the 1% reported for four consecutive quarters in 2020.  



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