Firms upbeat on recruiting staff

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber.
Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber.
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MORE than one in three businesses in the county aim to take on more staff, a new survey has shown.

Figures from the Quarterly Economic Survey by the Chamber of Commerce, which has an office in Blackpool, show 34 per cent of firms polled are expecting their workforce to increase in the next three months – up 13 per cent on the previous quarter.

This follows positive jobs news from the end of the year as 35 per cent of manufacturers reported that their workforce had increased in the final quarter of 2012, up 7 per cent on Q3.

Lancashire manufacturers saw an upturn in business in the final quarter of 2012 with 75 per cent of manufacturers saying that domestic sales had either increased or remained the same in Q4, an increase of nine per cent on Quarter Three.

The survey also found that the sector had seen growth in exports despite the challenges of uncertainty in the Euro Zone, an easing of growth in emerging markets and worries over a possible US ‘fiscal cliff’.

Babs Murphy, Chief Executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber, (pictured) said steady progress in recovery was slowly being made.

She said: “The Government must build on measures announced in the Autumn Statement and deliver a strategy that combines deficit reduction with a realistic long-term growth plan.

“Recent steps to improve access to finance, such as the commitment to create a business bank, must be implemented at scale and with clear timetables.

“More forceful measures are also needed to unlock massive private funding to renew Britain’s infrastructure that will create confidence in the short-term, jobs in the medium-term and growth in the long-term.”

Stephen Gregson, corporate finance director at Moore and Smalley Chartered Accountants which helps compile the survey said: “Manufacturing, this time, does seem to have enjoyed a significant improvement in outlook and performance.

“While it’s still too early to talk of trends, I think a case can be made that this survey provides further evidence that the regional economy is generally stable, with a greater possibility for future upside.”

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