Floods boost outlook for jobs

The outlook for jobs has been given an unexpected boost by the floods as extra staff are taken on to deal with damage caused by the atrocious weather, according to a new report.

The floods have proved an unexpected boost for jobs
The floods have proved an unexpected boost for jobs

Employment firm Manpower said demand for builders and other tradesmen and women had increased, boosting the industry by an estimated £250 million.

Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims.

The roll out of smart metering will also create jobs at utility firms into next year, it was predicted.

Manpower said firms in every sector were planning to take on extra staff in the coming months, the first time this had happened for six years.

Research among more than 2,000 employers showed those most optimistic on jobs were in Wales and the North East, while the least hopeful were in Northern Ireland.

Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower, said: "The UK jobs market has reached a turning point. Whilst the overall outlook has been consistently positive now for a number of quarters, it's actually been six years since the employers we've interviewed have reported positive hiring plans in every single sector.

"In particular, the construction forecast has been in negative territory since 2008 and was one of the sectors hardest hit by the recession, but it has really bounced back. At last we can confidently say that the jobs market is starting to fire on all cylinders.

"With over 6,000 properties flooded, and an average repair bill of £30,000-£40,000, the beneficiaries of all this extra work will be builders who are already being called in to repair homes.

"Even in areas where flooding has been less of a problem, the persistent and heavy rain will have highlighted problems with roofs that need fixing, and that should help boost demand for the sector."

Larger firms are more optimistic about jobs, while 2014 is promising to be the best year for young people and graduates in a long time, said Manpower.