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Workplace optimism increases

Consumer confidence has reached its highest level in almost 7 years and optimism is increasing among UK workers, according to a study by YouGov and the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr).

The YouGov/Cebr Consumer Confidence Index is 113.9, the highest level recorded since July 2007. It now stands just 1.7 points under its highest ever level recorded in April 2007.

The survey also reveals year-on-year growth in the number of workers receiving pay rises, promotions and bonuses, while fewer employees have seen colleagues laid-off in the last 12 months.

Key findings:

  • 45% of respondents have received a pay rise, promotion or bonus in the last 12 months, compared to a 41% year-on-year increase in May 2013
  • the number of people starting new jobs has increased 3 percentage points since May 2013
  • 23% of respondents have seen someone made redundant in the last 12 months, down from 28% in 2013.

Stephen Harmston, head of syndicated research at YouGov, said:

"The improvement in the labour market suggests that economic optimism is starting to reach workers as well as consumers; it is clear that this recovery has legs.

"The economy is now safely approaching escape velocity and over the course of the summer consumer confidence will surge past its pre-recession peak, which is good news for the Government ahead of next year's general election."

Charles Davis, director at Cebr, said:

"To date, much of the recovery has depended on homeowners bolstered by rising house prices and stronger confidence on the back of that. However, these figures suggest that at long last workers are also starting to drive things forward, too.

"As business investment increases companies are also starting to invest in staff. This is adding oxygen to the economic water and as a consequence the labour market is improving with more people experiencing pay rises, promotions, and bonuses as well as workers seeing an increased competition for their services."