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Small Firms Driving Big Job Creation In The UK

11 Mar 2014

Small Firms Driving Big Job Creation In The UK

More than 1 in 10 small companies have created new full or part time jobs over the duration of the last three months according to figures from the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB).

The FSB index now boasts three successive quarters of job creation amongst the 3,000 small companies that the survey tracks the results of. In further good news for the outlook for new jobs growth from small business, over 1 in 6 of the companies researched said they were expecting to take on even more new staff in the next couple of months.

Putting the figures into a regional perspective, the FBS research suggests that small businesses in the East of England and in the West Midlands are generating more new full and part time jobs than elsewhere around the UK.

Commenting on the figures, the chairman of the FSB, John Allan, said: “Once again we see confidence on the up, and small firms leading the way in job creation. There is no doubt small businesses are pushing us further towards economic prosperity and it's so important to retain this momentum. I believe small firms can do more too, for instance helping long-term unemployed youngsters back to work and, as the economy continues to improve, boosting wages for the low-paid.”

One factor that seems to be strongly driving the generation of new jobs amongst smaller companies is the fact that many of them are now sourcing talent within the UK rather than outsourcing it abroad. This so-called ‘reshoring’ trend could create over 200,000 jobs over the next ten years, according to experts.

John Hawksworth, chief economist at professional services firm PwC, shed some light on the apparently reversing trend:

“Since the 1990s there has been a major trend in the UK and other advanced economies for businesses to offshore activities to lower cost emerging economies. However, there are signs that the tide may be beginning to turn, with examples of reshoring back to the UK starting to crop in a range of different sectors, including advanced manufacturing, textiles and business support services,” said Mr Hawksworth.

According to recent research by EEF, and association for UK manufacturing, engineering and technology firms, businesses of all sizes are bringing jobs back to the UK - but small companies in particular thinking that reshoring will offer their customers a better overall product. Over half of small companies surveyed by the EEF said that ‘improving quality’ was their main reason for offering jobs in the UK rather than abroad. Reducing overall product delivery time was another major factor that many small companies provided as a reason for reshoring their job vacancies to the UK.

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