MERSEYSIDE manufacturers are on a recruitment drive, signalling an uplift in confidence and orders.
The latest quarterly economic survey by Liverpool Chamber of Commerce, covering the fourth quarter of last year, revealed that 70% of the region’s manufacturing companies had tried to recruit new staff.
Liverpool Chamber director Brian McCann said: “Manufacturing recruitment has been rising since late 2011, but has jumped to a noticeably higher level.
“The improving outlook for jobs is part of a positive response from the manufacturing sector, in particular.
“We have had a majority of manufacturing businesses reporting positive UK sales growth since early 2010, and, while there was evidence of this growth being under pressure in the early part of this year, the last three quarters have again shown strong progress.”
Elsewhere, domestic sales performance for the region’s service sector rose to its highest level since 2007, while firms expecting sales and profits to improve over the coming year are at their highest since 2007.
St Helens Chamber reported similar results, with manufacturers expecting profits to return to pre- recession levels during 2013 and planning to increase their workforces.
More than half the survey respondents had attempted to recruit during the fourth quarter of 2012, it was revealed.
St Helens Chamber director of business services, Tracy Mawson, said: “Many of our members tell us they are doing really well and there are some real success stories of St Helens firms who are growing, particularly on the back of increased export trade.”
But Mick Mayor, chair of Chambers of Commerce North West, said: “We are making steady progress with the recovery, but as it is weak growth the experience of each sector and area of the region does vary.”