Job prospects are starting to improve but there is a growing disparity across the UK, with a widening gap on recruitment plans, a new study shows.
Employment group Manpower said firms in the south-west, north-west and Wales were far more positive about job prospects than those in Northern Ireland, the west Midlands, the north-east and Scotland.
Mark Cahill, managing director at Manpower, said: “With growing disparity between the country’s regional employers, we are seeing a wider gap in hiring intentions now than we did at any point during the recession.
“Regions traditionally home to labour intensive workforces are showing negative hiring intentions, while those with more diverse economies predict an encouraging start to next year.”
The survey of 2,100 private and public sector employers showed the first general improvement in recruitment plans for a year.
Firms in finance, business services and utilities were the most optimistic, while the weakest hiring prospects were in retail and construction.