Workplace Optimism Grows

The research shows marked year-on-year improvements in the number of employees receiving pay rises, bonuses and promotions as well as the number of people starting new jobs. Furthermore, the data, taken from YouGov’s Household Economic Activity Tracker, find that fewer people have seen colleagues laid-off in the past twelve months.

Meanwhile, the YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index is at its highest level since July 2007, before the financial crisis, and is close to reaching its pre-credit crunch peak.

Stephen Harmston, Head of Syndicated Research at YouGov: ‘Over the course of the long recession and slow recovery consumer confidence has been somewhat fickle. However, the improvement in the labour market suggests that economic optimism is starting to reach workers as well as consumers; it is clear that this recovery has legs. The economy is now safely approaching escape velocity and over the course of the summer consumer confidence will surge past its pre-recession peak, which is good news for the Government ahead of next year’s general election.’

Charles Davis, Director at the Centre for Economics and Business Research: ‘To date, much of the recovery has depended on home owners bolstered by rising house prices and stronger confidence on the back of that. However, these figures suggest that at long last workers are also starting to drive things forward, too.

‘As business investment increases companies are also starting to invest in staff. This is adding oxygen to the economic water and as a consequence the labour market is improving with more people experiencing pay rises, promotions, and bonuses as well as workers seeing an increased competition for their services.

‘This is good news for the economy as a whole as rising real incomes can fuel sustainable increases in consumer spending, although it does pose questions about when the Bank of England will need to increase interest rates to dampen inflationary pressures caused by rising pay.’