Job confidence in the East of England increasing, according survey

Job confidence in the East of England is increasing. Photo: PA Images

Job confidence in the East of England is increasing, according to the third National Careers Service Job Confidence Index.

Just over three quarters of people in the region (76%) became more job confident or maintained the same confidence levels in their job and ability to find work since November 2013 when the last index results were available - an increase of 3%.

The results reveal an increase of 5% since the first index in August 2013. City specific data shows that in Norwich, 80% became more job confident or maintained the same levels of job confidence, an increase of 4% in the last three months.

And the research, conducted by market research agency ICM, shows the main driver behind the region's increase in job confidence is the economic recovery, with 60% (Norwich 74%) claiming they are more job confident as a result of improving business outlook - (an increase of 11 percentage points from 49% in August to 60% now.)

In addition to the economic recovery, one third of people in the East of England also attributed their increase in job confidence down to more opportunities being available, (32%), (Norwich 26%) and 33% said they had the right skills / qualifications (Norwich 17%).

The overall index, based on research looking at various issues affecting someone's confidence in finding work, analyses the state of the nation's work and employment prospects.

Taking in other, underlying factors, the overall job confidence score for the East of England has increased by 1.6 points since November 2013, increasing from 52.2 to 53.8 out of 100. An increase of 2.5 points since the first index was released in August 2013.

In the region, 67% of all respondents agree that they have the right experience to find work, an increase of 7% since August 2013. On a national level, there has also been an increase in confidence around writing an application letter/form, (up 7% from 63% since the first index in August 2013), and developing a CV, (up 6% from 61% since the first Index in August).

However, when it comes to pinning down job opportunities and performing under pressure, the index reveals that job seekers may need more help. Just over a quarter of people (28%) do not feel confident in being interviewed for a job, compared with 35% in November 2013.

Although there is a consensus among those that are not employed but seeking work, that developing a CV and gaining work experience are important steps in showing ability to future employers, and although there is evidence to show confidence in these areas, in the East of England, just over a third of all respondents have actually taken steps to update their CV and less than one in 10 (9%) have applied for work experience.

All areas in the country cite economic recovery as the biggest driver behind an increase in job confidence, with most agreement on this factor from Yorkshire and the Humber, (67%), followed by the East of England, the North West and the West Midlands at 60%.

Skills and Enterprise Minister Matthew Hancock said: "It is testament to our long term economic plan that people are becoming more confident in the jobs market. Every job means more economic security for families.

"To support this growing feeling and as the recovery continues people can be assured that the National Careers Service provides advice to all ages and at all stages of their working lives. I would urge anyone who needs help with their job search gets in touch with them today."