Hiring intentions among North West businesses rose strongly in July to surpass their pre-crisis figure and reach their highest level since 1998, according to the latest survey.
The BDO Employment Index, which predicts companies’ hiring intentions in three months’ time, rose from 108.8 in June to 109.6 in July, indicating that job creation will continue to accelerate for the remainder of the year.
Graduates from the class of 2014, many of whom will be looking to start their careers this summer, could face the most encouraging job prospects of any graduation class since the onset of the financial crisis.
The buoyant services sector also positively influenced the BDO Output Index, which predicts companies’ performance three months ahead. Economy-wide output rose from 103.6 in June to 103.7 in July, mirroring the 0.1 rise reported by the Output Sub-Index for the dominant services sector, which accounts for over two-thirds of the economy.
The BDO Optimism Index, which predicts businesses’ expectations over a six month horizon, rose from 104.8 in June to 105.1 in July, as both services and manufacturing firms reported gains.
Tim Entwistle, partner and head of BDO LLP in the North West, said: “The good news is that the unprecedented growth we’ve seen in employment this year looks set to continue, providing this year’s university graduates with a welcome dose of good news in terms of job and salary prospects.
“However, we’re hearing that services firms are beginning to echo manufacturers in voicing their concerns over a shortage of skilled workers .”