Northamptonshire firms are recruiting, says survey

Paul Griffiths of Northamptonshire Chamber
Paul Griffiths of Northamptonshire Chamber
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Northamptonshire firms are continuing to export and starting to recruit again, according to a new report.

Findings from the latest Quarterly Economic Survey(QES) results released by Northamptonshire Chamber reveal a continuing upward trend for exporting by county firms.

It also confirms Northamptonshire businesses are recruiting again and continuing to show confidence in the local economy during the third quarter of 2013.

Ninety-nine Northamptonshire businesses, who between them employ 6,276 people across the county, were invited to share their experiences of various aspects of trade between July and September 2013.

The findings were separated into manufacturing and service industries and revealed a significant improvement in exports overall.

An impressive 97 per cent of manufacturers who responded to the survey reported their export sales had remained the same or increased during Q3 of 2013 (up 15 per cent on the previous quarter).

About three-quarters of these said they had experienced increased export sales (up 26 per cent on Q2).

A similar percentage of manufacturers also reported an increase in advance export orders (up from 59 per cent on Q2).

Meanwhile the service sector continues to flourish in relation to exports with 94 per cent reporting an increase in export sales over the past three months (up from 73 per cent on Q2) and an equivalent number reporting an increase in advance orders (up from 70 per cent on Q2).

There was a more positive picture with regards to the county workforce with both services and manufacturing sector planning to recruit further this quarter.

None of the manufacturing respondents had reduced their workforce in the third quarter with 50 per cent expecting their workforce to increase over the coming three months.

Within the service sector, 97 per cent of respondents said they expected their workforce to increase or stay the same over the next three months.

The survey showed more than half (55 per cent) of respondents tried to recruit new employees during the third quarter (up from 50 per cent on Q2) with 83 per cent of manufacturing and 70 per cent of service opportunities being for full-time jobs.

Northamptonshire businesses in both sectors continue to show confidence in both turnover and profitability over the next 12 months.

The results show 95 per cent of manufacturers expecting turnover to improve or stay the same over the next 12 months (up from 91 per cent on Q2) and 62 per cent (up nine per cent on Q2) expect profitability to improve over the same period.

Northamptonshire Chamber chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “The results from this latest QES are very encouraging with many more firms from both the manufacturing and service sectors looking to increase their workforce, invest in capital and train their staff.

“It is pleasing to see the number of county firms fulfilling their global potential continuing to rise - proving there is a demand for Northamptonshire products and services outside the UK.

“These latest set of results are very positive and shows on the whole, businesses are optimistic about the future.

“However, the Government must make their pledges to introduce business-friendly measures a reality by helping businesses to access finance so they can invest in further growth and consequently revive the UK economy.”