Companies in Milton Keynes are experiencing strong jobs growth according to the latest Quarterly Economic Survey, released today by Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce.
Businesses operating in both the manufacturing and service sectors reported an increase in their workforce during the fourth quarter.
And all 100% of manufacturers and 92% of service sector companies stated that their workforce had increased or remained consistent with Q3.
Looking forward, 75% of manufacturing firms are considering hiring more staff during 2016 and 95% of the service sector expect their workforce to increase or remain the same.
Despite this, the majority of businesses across both sectors are still operating below capacity and all the manufacturers admitted they had struggled to recruit suitable staff.
The findings from the report, released on 12th January 2016, contains responses from 45 businesses employing 2,542 people from across Milton Keynes.
Manufacturers shot ahead of their service counterparts in export sales, with 67% of firms reporting an increase in in the last quarter of 2015. The remaining 33% said their export sales were level with Q3.
Export sales remained in line with the third quarter for 70% of service sector firms. But 90% of service sector firms said domestic sales had stayed the same or increased.
For the first time since Q1 of 2015, export orders for service sector firms report a contraction in activity with a balance figure of -5%. Despite this, 85% of firms stated that export orders had increased or remained consistent with Q3.
But business confidence – determined by turnover and profitability – remained healthy across all industries. At least 80% stated that their turnover had increased and the same amount said profitability had either stayed level or gone up when compared to the previous quarter.
Milton Keynes Chamber of Commerce chief executive Paul Griffiths said: “It is a positive start to 2016 with Milton Keynes businesses recruiting new staff and having a confident approach to the New Year.
“It is fantastic to see increased export sales for manufacturers and good domestic sales for the service sector.
“We are delighted that an increasing number of Milton Keynes businesses are engaging in our Quarterly Economic Survey which helps us to act as the voice of business to the people who can make a difference to the economy and the business environment in our area.”