What Does Economic Growth Look Like in 2021?

The global economy has inevitably struggled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however a worldwide vaccine rollout has provided light at the end of the tunnel. It has been incredibly encouraging to see the economy growing after many months of regression across a number of sectors. 

In an article published by the BBC, The Bank of England said that the UK economy is set to grow at the fastest rate in more than 70 years, as additional government funding has helped to flatten the curve and limit job losses. The furlough scheme has been the most notable, which has been extended until September 2021, so businesses have time to recover, whilst still retaining their employees. 

The forecasted economic growth has resulted in employers looking at recruitment drives, particularly in Q3 when we will be entering the final phase of lockdown rules being lifted in the UK.

Although this is positive, many news outlets are reminding us that this should be viewed as a bounce back of the economy, rather than a drastic increase. The same article from the BBC discussed that other elements such as pay rises will take longer to recover and interest rates will plateau instead of improving overnight. The growth we are experiencing is absolutely positive, however should be viewed through a practical lens as the economy is technically still in “recovery mode”. 

From our perspective, we have seen a number of interesting shifts, particularly in partnership promotions, which have increased significantly in comparison to last year. This is naturally a positive outcome for all, and evidences that although we have all struggled through adversity, excellent work is still being done. Promotions signify growth, so learning that this is happening across a number of firms is encouraging.

The recruitment market since the end of 2020 has become candidate-driven, thus shifting the onus on law firms to engage in detailed attraction strategies to ensure they are hiring the best talent in the market. 

This change has given our Talent Network the opportunity to become selective with opportunities, which is a substantial change from last year. However, it is important to note that this shift is perhaps related to a shortage of talent, and an increase in the demand for legal services. Regardless, it is a positive which should be celebrated, especially for those who are just starting their legal careers.

This has been supported by other search firms across multiple sectors, with Financial Management reporting that “overall, over half (56%) of UK employers who participated in the CIPD/Adecco survey indicated they are planning to recruit in the first quarter of 2021, up from 53% in the previous quarter and 49% six months ago. We are confident that these numbers will only continue to grow towards the end of Q3 and the beginning of Q4.

From a client perspective, it has been encouraging to hear that there has been an increased demand for legal services relating to technology, healthcare, and life sciences. 2020 saw these industries working closely together, from frontline workers for the NHS, through to new technology platforms and products to support remote workers. 

This was supported by Deloitte, who highlighted in their “2021 global life sciences outlook” that accelerated digital transformation during the pandemic demonstrated that process changes are required for increased speed to market. This will ultimately affect other industries, such as the legal sector, as streamlining and efficiency will continue to be a priority for all industries moving forwards. 

In conclusion, it is clear that the economy is improving, and although there is still an element of uncertainty of what a “post-pandemic world” will accurately look like, we believe that the influx of promotions within firms and increased desire to hire should be celebrated.