£250m silver lining to rain clouds as building jobs boosted by floods

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The outlook for jobs has been given an unexpected boost by the floods as extra staff are taken on to deal with the damage.

Employment firm Manpower said demand for builders and other tradesmen and women had increased, boosting the industry by an estimated £250m.

Energy firms have also had to recruit more engineers in the past few weeks to help restore power to thousands of homes, as well as more customer service workers to handle compensation claims. The roll-out of smart metering will also create jobs at utility firms into next year, it was predicted.

Manpower said firms in every sector were planning to take on extra staff in the coming months, the first time this had happened for six years.

Research among more than 2,000 employers showed those most optimistic on jobs were in Wales and the North East, while the least hopeful were in Northern Ireland.

Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower, said: “The UK jobs market has reached a turning point. Whilst the overall outlook has been consistently positive now for a number of quarters, it’s actually been six years since the employers we’ve interviewed have reported positive hiring plans in every single sector.

“In particular, the construction forecast has been in negative territory since 2008 and was one of the sectors hardest hit by the recession, but it has really bounced back. At last we can confidently say that the jobs market is starting to fire on all cylinders.

“With over 6,000 properties flooded, and an average repair bill of £30,000-£40,000, the beneficiaries of all this extra work will be builders who are already being called in to repair homes.”