The research shows an employment outlook of +9% for the New Year ranking the region’s employers amongst the most optimistic in the country.
The North West (+11%) also recorded a positive outlook, suggesting the chancellor’s northern powerhouse may be warming up as large companies like TalkTalk relocate north to save money on property and staff costs.
Manpower’s Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,102 UK employers and asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.
Amanda White, operations manager at Manpower, said: “This quarter’s Employment Outlook is great news for workers in the region and suggests that the government’s northern powerhouse plans are paying off.
“We are seeing steady demand across the region going into the first quarter of the New Year. In Darlington, we have seen a lot of opportunities in the industrial sector, especially for engineers with niche skills in the food production sector.
“In contrast, engineers in Newcastle are having a more difficult time as the global oil price depression and closure of local steel plants have led to reduced demand for some very specialist engineering skills. Some of these engineers hold transferable skills and we are working with them to find work in other industries like the automotive industry, which is hiring at pace.
“We are also seeing a steady demand for talent in the customer service, sales and marketing industries, particularly within financial services. Sunderland’s recruitment picture is particularly buoyant.
“There is a real battle for talent out there and those employers who can offer an all-round desirable package – not just high pay – are winning, which is good news for smaller businesses that may not be able to afford to compete for candidates on pay alone.”
The national seasonally adjusted Net Employment Outlook has jumped two percentage points to +7% as companies ramp up hiring plans going into the New Year.
The upbeat national picture is being fuelled by Britain’s booming business and finance services sector, at +10%, and particularly high tech areas such as cyber security.
Recent high profile data breaches such as those at TalkTalk and Sony, have also created a surge in demand for cyber security experts.
The South East (+12%), the East (+9%), London (+9%), the South West (+9%), Wales (+9%) and the East Midlands (+8%) all stand above the national average.
The Outlooks in the West Midlands (+6%), Scotland (+5%) and Yorkshire and Humber (+4%) are in positive territory, while Northern Ireland is the only region to record a negative Outlook for the first quarter of 2016, at -2%.