by Roberta Radu, Lareese Craig, Jess Strudwick, Oran Burke
Businesses in Sussex are defying the recession better than the rest of the UK, a survey of employers suggests.
Fifty per cent of employers in Sussex are optimistic about the health of the local economy, the study by Sussex Enterprise and recruitment company Hays revealed.
Helen Kirk-Brown, a director for Hays in Sussex, said the survey “painted a positive picture” for the county.
Businesses in Brighton now favour a new approach to surviving the recession by focusing on investments, and hiring more staff instead of cutting back.
Dan Doidge, 34, Pizza Express manager at a Brighton branch, said: “We’re optimistic for the future. We are hiring at the moment, normally we would hire when we need to but we haven’t had to cut down too much.
“We are trying to improve service instead. We had a refurbishment about two months ago so we are on a different level. We have a positive outlook so we hope to gain by investing,” he added.
A third of employers plan to recruit more staff next year and two-thirds said their workforce had not been affected by the 2008 credit crunch.
According to a report in thisissussex.co.uk, in the next 6 months there will be 1000 new jobs available between Sainsbury’s, ASDA and Hastings Direct.
East Sussex County Council assistant chief executive Simon Hughes said: “We’re pleased with the optimism shown by the businesses Hays surveyed.”
Employment vacancies in Job Centres in East Sussex show a year-on-year increase of more than 1500 new jobs for May 2012, compared to the previous year.
Analysts from SQW, a research consultancy, said that they expect overall employment to rise by 5% in West Sussex by 2026, with the best performing sectors being finance and business.
Fiona Jenkinson, 39, a store manager at Silver Scene on Prince Albert Street thinks businesses in Sussex are coping well, but other regions are struggling. She said: “Bristol has been affected a bit more and areas in the south-west. In Taunton, shops are closing and are not reopening so the town seems to be going down.”