New research cfound that almost three-quarters of employers (72%) are optimistic about the year ahead despite the emergence of the Omicron variant, including a quarter who feel ‘very optimistic’.
Canvassing over 250 hiring decision makers across the UK, the research reveals business optimism including exploring the progress of the economic recovery and hiring plans for 2022.
Confidence is particularly pronounced in larger (250-999 employees) and London-based companies. Over eight in ten employers based in the capital (88%) feel optimistic about 2022, compared with 64% of business leaders based elsewhere.
The research also reveals that the majority of UK businesses have recovered from the economic turmoil of the past two years. Over two-thirds of employers (67%) said their business’s revenue had recovered this year to be equivalent to or in excess of pre-pandemic levels. This was particularly true for businesses based in London where – despite the challenges the capital has faced during the pandemic – over a third of businesses (34%) have exceeded their pre-pandemic revenue.
The business optimism for 2022 unearthed by this research is also evident in the jobs boom that is underway across the UK. For the first time in its history, Reed.co.uk had over 300,000 jobs available for the entirety of November and, earlier this year, the site exceeded its total job postings for 2020 in just seven months.
According to the research, the jobs boom looks set to continue into next year, with nearly half of businesses (49%) saying they were either very likely or likely to hire more people in 2022 than in 2021, and 82% felt optimistic that labour shortages would improve in 2022.
Commenting on the research, James Reed, chairman of REED, says: “The labour market is in a situation few would have predicted at the start of the year, and now, as we head into 2022, we are in an optimal environment for jobseekers. A jobs boom has been underway for the last six-months, and we expect this to continue into next year. Reed.co.uk has seen over 150,000 new jobs uploaded in the first 12-days of December despite the spread of the Omicron variant.
“Our research and jobs data indicate that most businesses have recovered from the economic shock of the pandemic and are looking to expand next year – this should be music to the ears of jobseekers. This is the best time in fifty years to look for a new job and I urge anyone thinking of seeking a change to take advantage of this very unique situation.”
*Commissioned by Reed.co.uk