Multiple reports in recent days have pointed to a potentially unsteady resurgence in the UK economy in the months ahead. The Guardian, for instance, has cited a business trends report from a professional services firm, indicating that worker shortages related to the COVID-19 crisis and Brexit could effectively hold back the national recovery.
This is despite an encouraging picture for employment, the report finding that the jobs market improved during July as lockdown restrictions were lifted and firms hired.
What else are we learning about job-market developments during July?
Last month was a key one in the UK’s ongoing recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, and certainly for many businesses calling upon payroll services in Plymouth and Wellington like those of Britebooks.
Sure enough, the professional services firm referenced by the newspaper observed that July saw a scramble for workers, with this in turn exerting upward pressure on wages and leaving bosses concerned about ever-increasing costs. Labour shortages were worsened by factors like staff being alerted to self-isolate by the NHS COVID-19 app, and the effects of the UK’s departure from the European Union (EU).
This all contributed to the firm’s employment index climbing by 1.57 points during the month, from 106.05 in June to 107.62 in July – equating to the strongest pickup in recruitment so far in 2021.
However, business optimism dropped from the record high seen in June, and the firm’s inflation index for July – which monitors price rises – wasn’t far shy of the figure for June, which had been the highest in four years.
As global supply chains remain under pressure and struggles have been observed in the import of goods and materials in the wake of Brexit, employers have also forked out more money to land and retain the best talent.
Optimism for the future – albeit split along regional lines
A different survey from another company further indicated the continued mixed prospects for the UK economy. The poll found that two thirds of the country’s small businesses felt positive about the UK economic outlook over the coming 12 months, with over half of firms intending to take on more staff.
However, a clear regional split was seen in this regard. While, for instance, seven in 10 (71%) London and south-east firms were positive about the UK economy going forward, this measure was only 60% for Scotland, and 59% in the north-east, north-west and Yorkshire and Humberside regions.
In a climate of guarded positivity, it is crucial for UK firms to reach out for the right sources of support and guidance. Britebooks’ own easy-to-use, but also sophisticated and affordable payroll services in Plymouth or Wellington could greatly help your business in this regard.
Get in touch with us now at our Devon or Somerset offices, and we will be pleased to outline to you how our complete service could give you a lot less to worry about as you manage your business through the opportunities – and the storms – in the months ahead.