While confidence remains very low (at net: -46), the latest survey from the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) saw the outlook start to turn away from the record lows of the spring.

Alongside this, employers’ hiring intentions also improved. The latest JobsOutlook, conducted between 2-16 June, found that more employers are planning to expand their workforce than reduce it in the next three months, as the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) continues to support firms to avoid redundancies. The net balance now sits at +6, an improvement of 11 percentage points from early May.

Employers’ hiring intentions for the medium term (the next 4-12 months) also improved, rising from net: +6 in early May to net: +15 in June.

The REC’s Jobs Recovery Tracker has already revealed that the number of job postings in the UK has been slowly increasing over the past few weeks. The number of new job adverts in the first week of June reached 112,000, 64% higher than the previous week.

Neil Carberry, Chief Executive of the REC, said:

“This survey adds to the evidence we are seeing all over the UK that as lockdown ends, at least some normal activity is returning. If the lockdown measures continue to ease and public confidence improves, we should start to see business leaders put their plans into action and hire. This normalisation process will also be vital both for making sure that many furloughed workers are able to return to their jobs, and limiting the spike in unemployment that is likely when CJRS ends.

“The recruitment industry will be a vital part of this recovery, helping to place the right people into the right roles and get the country back to work.”