30 October 2014

Business confidence is rising

Business news round up: positivity, with low levels of insolvencies, many businesses offering pay rises and planning to expand their workforce.

The latest surveys and statistics from Quarter 3 are showing business confidence and positivity, with many offering pay rises and planning to create jobs, while insolvencies are at their lowest since 1984, when records started.

Businesses are creating jobs

Results from the British Chamber of Commerce’s Workforce Survey indicate increasing positivity for job creation and wages.

The survey of almost 3,000 businesses found that 69% of firms had increased staff pay over the last 12 months, either in line with or above inflation. This was more common in medium-sized and large businesses, while 38% of micro businesses reported no wage changes in the last year.

The majority of businesses saying they are likely to take on staff in the coming year were small and medium sized businesses. The findings also highlighted a divide between sectors, with IT and construction amongst the trades likely to expand their workforce, while businesses belonging to the sports and recreation and catering trades sectors were least likely to.

It also found that:

  • 62% offer flexible working
  • 38% offer remote working
  • 13% offer childcare
  • 11% have zero hour contracts

Businesses indicated concern over certain regulations, including the new flexible working rights (48%) and the changes to paternity leave (60%), believing that this would negatively affect their business.  

A visual summary of the Workforce Survey can be found here.

It's good to do business in the UK

According to a survey by the World Bank, the UK ranks as the 8th best place to do business, out of 189 nations. Singapore came in first place, with New Zealand and Hong Kong closely behind. The ranking was based on how close each company comes to global best practices for business regulation. This includes regulations that deal with starting up a business, paying taxes and insolvency. 

Lowest insolvency rate since records began

According to the Insolvency Service, between September 2013 and 2014, only one in every 186 active companies went into liquidation. This is an all-time low of 0.54%.

Between July and September this year, the number of company liquidations fell by 11.7% compared to the previous year and administrations were down almost 19%.

While these statistics have been welcomed by many as a sign of economic recovery, R3, the Association of Business Recovery Professionals has warned that these two don’t always go hand in hand. It suggests that businesses must be ready to grow and have access to adequate funding, or they could find themselves over-stretching and finding themselves in difficulty.