North East business bosses are the least likely in the country to take on extra staff in the current economic climate, experts have indicated.
Employers in the region are growing more cautious about recruiting - and when they do, they are finding it increasingly difficult to fill the positions.
Even to achieve the North of England average rate of 415 would mean an additional 5,000 Tees Valley businessesEconomic briefing
The news - and other aspects of the area’s outlook - has been detailed in the latest Tees Valley Economic Briefing which is prepared by the Tees Valley Combined Authority.
It looks at everything from recent jobs announcements to the rate of unemployment and the latest briefing rounds up the area’s economic position for September.
It was a mix of news with the unemployment rate holding steady but the recruitment side struggling.
The briefing said: “The latest ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017 finds that employers across the region are becoming more cautious about hiring and at the same time finding that the roles they are recruiting for are increasingly difficult to fill.
“Whilst still planning for some employment growth, hiring intentions for firms in the North East are now the least positive of any English region.”
There were some positives, though.
The report said 400 more new businesses had been reported in the Tees Valley area up to March this year. The figure had gone up from 17,100 in 2016 to 17,500 this year.
However, the rate is well below the UK average as a proportion of the resident adult population aged 16 and over.
It stood at 324 for the Tees Valley compared to the UK rate of 501.
The briefing said that represents “a Tees Valley enterprise gap shortfall of almost 10,000 businesses. Even to achieve the North of England average rate of 415 would mean an additional 5,000 Tees Valley businesses,” it added.
The briefing also looked at the latest unemployment figures. They showed the local claimant count was 4% in August and that had remained unchanged from July. The North of England and UK rates were also unchanged, remaining at 2.5% and 1.9%.