Sunny outlook for job market

Andrew Steel.'Hartlepool Business Awards 2014

Andrew Steel.'Hartlepool Business Awards 2014

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HARTLEPOOL and the North-East has got its business confidence back.

The jobs outlook is at its strongest level since the recession, with increasing numbers of employers planning to take on staff, according to a new report.

The North-East is holding its own. The region has just gone through its fourth consecutive quarter of employment growth, according to recruitment agency Manpower which surveyed more than 2,000 firms.

It has revealed the national Seasonally Adjusted Net Employment Outlook which stands at eight per cent. That’s the level of companies which plan to hire people in the next three months.

The North-East’s own employment outlook is six per cent.

The same positivity was evident in town where the Hartlepool Business Forum co-ordinator Andrew Steel said: “There does seem to be an increased feeling of optimism although, to me, it looks like cautious optimism.

“There are companies that are starting to invest on a small scale and there does seem to be a trickle-down effect. It is in its early stages.”

The air of positivity is reflected in a number of good news announcements for Hartlepool recently.

Just last month, Heerema Hartlepool announced an increased in its workforce by around 300 people to 1,000 people, for work on the Cygnus gas field development.

In April, worldwide installation company McDermott announced 100 jobs for Hartlepool, after striking a deal to set up a pipe spool operation on land owned by PD Ports.

In March, 70 new jobs were announced and were due to be created when the The Stag and Monkey, on the corner of Belle Vue Way and Brenda Road, in Hartlepool, opened.

Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower, said: “Consistency has been the byword for the UK’s employment outlook over the last 18 months. While job prospects have been strong, it’s only now that we’re seeing a return to pre-recession hiring plans.”

The national figure was reflected in the North-East. Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower, said: “The sustained positive outlook in the region over the last year is having a noticeable effect on the availability of work, and what’s more, we’re now beginning to see signs of upward movement in pay, albeit relatively small at this stage.”