UK Impact

Jobs are UP by 150,000 after referendum shock: Boss of Reed says majority of firms have no plans to freeze recruitment

  • Boss of recruitment specialist says demand for new staff is up since Brexit
  • James Reed says voting to leave the European Union hasn’t affected things
  • 83% of companies it asked says they don’t plan to freeze recruitment 

James Reed, chairman of the £1 billion-plus turnover group, said the 8 per cent increase was a sign that it was ‘business as usual’ despite fears that job vacancies could drop. The growth – in line with the first half of the year – bucks fears of a recruitment crash.

‘The situation is surprisingly good,’ Reed said. ‘The vote hasn’t affected things. People are still hiring and there are lots of opportunities.

On the move: 83 per cent of companies Reed Group surveyed said they did not plan to freeze recruitment

‘If a drop in confidence begins to feed through I think we’d be the first to see it. We were the first to see the jobs recovery after the financial crisis because people advertise jobs that only later come through in Government statistics.’

Reed added that 83 per cent of companies it surveyed said they did not plan to freeze recruitment, although two-thirds of the firms had backed Remain before the referendum.

 The sectors in line to benefit most from the boost are education, with nearly 13,000 new jobs advertised; IT and telecoms, with 12,000 new vacancies; and sales, with nearly 11,000 new posts. There are also 10,000 new accountancy jobs advertised and 8,000 in engineering.

The market is strongest in London, where 15,000 new jobs are advertised. There are nearly 5,000 new vacancies in Manchester and 4,000 in Birmingham.

In a study by Reed 83 per cent of companies said they weren't planning a recruitment freeze

In contrast, technology firm CEB Global said earlier this month that the number of jobs being advertised had ‘halved’ since the referendum.

But Reed said: ‘That doesn’t chime with our data at all. For a lot of firms it’s just business as usual.

‘We’ve seen faster growth in previous years, but the market is still growing and there are lots of jobs out there. We’ve seen consistent growth in areas like technology and engineering. And we are expecting to see more people coming to Britain on the back of the change in exchange rates so we are anticipating more jobs in tourism and hospitality.’

Reed said a week before the referendum that opting out of the EU was ‘a big decision without any upside’ for businesses. But he also said he could see strong arguments for both sides.

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