The trends emanating from this month’s survey reveal modest changes to the September results, both in terms of workload prediction and staffing. More practices predicted an increase in workload, (31% in October, compared to 33% in September), although this indicator has been quite volatile over the last quarter and does not represent a sustained trend of confidence growth. The number of practices predicting a decline in workload remained constant at 16%, in addition to levels of underemployment (30% of practices stated they were underemployed in October, and 29% in September).
Both public and commercial work sectors presented improvements with predicted increases in workloads; 19% of practices expected public sector work to increase (growing from 17% in September), and 18% predicted more commercial work, compared to 16% in September. In October, only 28% of practices expected more private housing work, which was a further drop of 4% from the September figures (32%).
Changes in predictions for staff retention also reflected tentative improvements, with more practices predicting an increase in staff (7% in October, compared to 5% in September), however those expecting a decrease remained constant at 13%. The number of women employed in practice also remained constant at 21%.
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