From education to employment

Firms are on track to create more jobs, but uncertainty rises

The CBI launches its 2018 Employment Trends Survey which will be used to inform policy throughout the year.

In collaboration with Pertemps Network Group, the CBI has published its latest Employment Trends Survey (ETS). Now in its 21st year, the survey includes responses from 350 businesses employing a total of over 1 million people. The ETS is used to inform CBI policy as well as provide a barometer of business mood across several topics such as jobs, pay, competitiveness and employment relations.

Read the 2018 Employment Trends Survey

The ETS includes many positives such as the readiness of companies to create jobs, with 45% of businesses across the UK expecting to grow their workforce in the year ahead. Notably, confidence is highest among small and medium sized employers. On pay, the results show that more than two thirds of respondents aim to raise pay for their employees in line with, or above, inflation in the coming year. This is up from just over half in 2017.

The ETS also shows a clear commitment from business to increase the pace of progress on diversity and inclusion. Nearly nine in ten businesses see a diverse and inclusive workforce as important or vital to their future success. Equally encouragingly, in response to gender pay gap reporting, nine out of ten firms are taking action to reduce the gender pay gap and improve gender diversity at all levels of businesses. The CBI support the introduction of mandatory ethnicity pay gap reporting, but this survey finds that only 17% would describe themselves as “well prepared” for it. As a result, the CBI is calling for government to work with business and allow a significant implementation period to ensure that all companies are prepared to publish their reports on time.

The survey also indicates that confidence of businesses is ebbing, with nearly half of UK businesses saying that the UK has become a less attractive place to invest and do business over the past five years. Firms are also still reporting access to skills as the most significant threat to the UK’s labour market competitiveness, with 83% stating it is a worry. The CBI recently published Open and Controlled, our proposals for a new immigration system after Brexit which seeks to allay the fears highlighted in the ETS by calling for a future immigration system based on the requirement of the economy, balanced with the view of communities across the UK.

The CBI to work across all of the issues raised in the ETS and will continue to use these findings to inform policy throughout 2019.


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