Recruitment a concern as confidence grows

British furniture manufacturers are more confident about the business situation, with almost half hoping to recruit new staff.

Figures from the latest BFM Trade Survey found 84% were more confident about the general business situation than in October last year.

Some 42% expected to hire new employees in the next six months, although they are facing difficulties in recruiting.

‘As we emerge from lockdown, furniture manufacturers are showing a high degree of confidence going forward, with sustained levels of demand, although labour shortages are becoming a concern. Feedback from our members shows an increasing frustration in being unable to find staff and many factories now have order backlogs of up to four or five months as a result,’ says Nick Garratt, BFM md.

Figures show the furniture sector was performing well pre-pandemic, with the number of enterprises in furniture manufacturing in 2019 being approximately the same as a decade ago at 6,355, while employee numbers have increased annually over the last five years to more than 95,000.



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