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Confidence rising on jobs front; Employers' forecasts lift Wales from near bottom of the UK league.

EMPLOYERS in Wales are more optimistic about jobcreation prospects over the coming months, according to research.

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey (formerly the Manpower Quarterly Survey of Employment Prospects) asked 2,500 public and private employers in the UK to forecast hiring patterns for the next three months.

Showing a marked improvement on the previous quarterly survey in Wales, a positive net balance of 14% (the difference between the positive and negative response levels) was reported.

The level moves Wales from near the bottom of the league table of 11 UK regions in the previous quarter to sixth place this time.

Manpower Wales regional manager Val Browning said, ``The survey demonstrates that Wales looks to be among the better places in the UK to be looking for employment.

``These results show a con-siderable increase of 8% on last quarter's results, indicating that employers are becoming more confident.

``This indicates that there is increasing stability and confidence among Welsh employers, which is good news for both employees and job seekers.''

Other regions forecasting stronger hiring patterns are south-west, England, with a positive balance of 24%, the east of England, 23%, and Scotland, 21%.

All 11 regions of the UK are planning to increase staffing levels in the third quarter of this year.

However, only six of the 11 are predicting an increase in staffing levels compared with the previous quarter.

London falls from the middle of the regional league table in the previous quarter to bottom of the table this quarter with a balance of just 3%.

Ms Browning said the positive outlook in Wales was being fuelled by a number of key areas including tourism.

``There has recently been a boom in contact-centre work and tourism is also on the increase as people this year are encouraged to holiday at home,'' she said.

``This will help the Welsh hotel and restaurant sector cons i derab

y.

``Cardiff continues to grow and develop and Newport's new-found city status could also be having an impact on inward investment, which in turn encourages employment.''

Sector analysis shows there has been a relatively sharp downturn in the second quarter of this year across many sectors.

While seven of the nine sectors are planning to take on staff in the quarter ahead, employers in both transport and communications and agriculture are planning to reduce staff.

For the second consecutive quarter utilities top the sector league table with a net employment outlook of 34% of companies planning to increase staff in the third quarter.

Construction continues to perform well, with 22%, with hotels and retail third on 15%.

Manufacturing is the only sector that is up both quarter on quarter and year on year, with 14% of companies planning to increase staffing in the third quarter.

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POSITIVE OUTLOOK: Call-centre workers in Cardiff; Picture: David Hurst
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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Geographic Code:4EUUW
Date:Jun 23, 2003
Words:471
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