Leicestershire jobs boost on the cards
03/25/2010

The latest Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey found 31% of manufacturers and 27% of service industry employers expected to take on staff in a sign of returning confidence in the economy.

Online PR News – 25-March-2010 – – Nearly a third of firms are planning to create jobs in the next three months, a survey has suggested.

The latest Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce Quarterly Economic Survey found 31% of manufacturers and 27% of service industry employers expected to take on staff in a sign of returning confidence in the economy.

However, business leaders said that many employers remained cautious about recruitment because of the question marks hanging over the outcome of the General Election and the effects of tomorrow's Budget.

More than 200 companies took part in the latest survey.

In the last survey, in December, just 19% of manufacturers and 17% of service sector firms were looking to create jobs.

Rising optimism was reflected last week as figures from the chamber showed 3,000 jobs were created in Leicestershire last month – the biggest monthly rise for two years.

Among the firms looking to expand is design agency Standout Design and Marketing, which has relocated from offices in Clarendon Park, Leicester to Desford Hall, Desford.

Managing director Dan Barber said: "We will recruit three staff in the next few months with plans to double our headcount in the future to around 40 staff.

"We are winning new contracts and clients constantly."

Standout now occupies three floors across 5,000 sq ft at Desford Hall.

Martin Traynor, managing director of Leicestershire Chamber of Commerce, said the news would help offset hundreds of job cuts in the county, including at Loughborough drugs firm AstraZeneca.

Mr Traynor said: "We are encouraged by the optimism that is now starting to come into businesses in Leicestershire.

"Clearly there are signs of an upturn and employers, both in manufacturing and in the service sector, are talking about taking people on in the three months."

The survey showed 32% of manufacturers were expecting an increase in exports in the next three months, compared to 27% of employers surveyed in December.

Mr Traynor said: "The UK and Leicestershire are starting to benefit from the more competitive foreign currency rates to the pound.

"However, we're not out of the woods just yet.

"The election is putting uncertainty into the market, which is not helpful and there are concerns that with the contraction of the public sector, unemployment will start to rise and put further pressure on the UK economy."

Other businesses which have recently announced recruitment plans are homewares chain The Range, which will create 150 posts when it opens a store in Abbey Retail Park, off St Margaret's Way, Leicester, next month.

Colourbank Carpets and Beds, of Leicester, is creating jobs by building a warehouse in Crest Rise, off Lewisher Road.

Kamal Dhutia, Leicester branch committee member of the Federation of Small Businesses, said: "The confidence level among businesses is much higher than it was this time last year, and if that does materialise into solid employment, that's good news.

"But things are still so fragile out there, and it really depends on what industry you're in.

"There are a lot of question marks still in the air because of the General Election and a lot of companies I speak to are holding back a bit to see what the outcome is.

"People don't want to recruit and then find themselves laying people off again."