Spring 2002 Executive SummaryThe first RCI index was launched in Winter 1999/00 using a postal survey. Since then we have received 5893 responses. The current report is based on 5475 responses (417 responses in Spring-02) from a representative sample of UK organisations with at least 25 employees. Respondents include HR directors/managers, finance directors, managing directors and recruitment specialists. In this quarter we have incorporated an online survey.
The size of organisations analysed in this report ranged from 25 to more than 100,000 employees, with about 50% having at least 250 employees in every survey. Of the organisations that participated, almost 50% belong to larger companies, ranging in size up to 1,000,000 employees. To ensure a representative picture, the results have been weighted according to industry, region and size. Finally, in this report, services refer to organisations in the service sector.
- THE MAIN RESULTS
- We first saw expectations of a downturn in the Spring-00 survey for business conditions and demand for main products / services. The Spring-02 survey shows that business conditions and demand for main product / services has recovered.
- Compared to the Autumn-01 survey, where employment levels for the manufacturing sector reached negative figures for the first time, employment in the manufacturing sector has made a dramatic recovery now predicting positive growth implying that organisations in the manufacturing sector expect to increase the workforce.
- After seeing predicted decreases in the level of business confidence in the Autumn-01 survey, respondents are now showing significantly more optimism and business confidence has increased dramatically from +20% in Autumn-01 to +58% this quarter.
- In all functions (with the exception of Computing/IT and Purchasing) recruitment difficulties are expected to increase in the next six months for managerial / professional staff.. Recruitment difficulties are expected to be most common in Engineering.
- There is a decrease in the number of respondents expecting pay increases of less than four percent and an increase in the number of respondents expecting an increase of between 4-10%.