Brexit dominated the headlines for a good portion of 2016, with many people worried about the negative impact it would have on many facets of day-to-day life. Business owners were amongst those who were worried about Brexit and although the full consequences of the UK's decision to leave the European Union are yet to be felt; there have been reasons for optimism.
Figures obtained through a Freedom of Information request from Companies House show that a record number of recruitment agencies were opened in 2016 in the UK. There were 4,529 recruitment agencies that opened between January and December 2016. This is a significant increase on the numbers from 2015, which were 13.7% lower (3,984).
The recruitment sector has grown significantly over the last 5 years and it is now worth £35.1 billion in the UK. This figure is even more impressive when you consider that in 2012/13 it was £26.5 billion. Positive trading conditions have helped the industry to thrive in the UK and things don't look set to slow down in 2017.
Despite the incredible growth of recruitment firms in 2016, Brexit did have some effect. For example, the number of recruitment firms leading up to the vote was quite low. However after the decision to leave the EU had been announced, the number of recruitment firms being opened began to soar, with more than a thousand businesses being opened in July and August alone.
This number continued to rise towards the end of the year, with 1,315 new recruitment firms registered in November and December.
It's still uncertain how much of an impact Brexit will have on recruitment firms and business as a whole in the UK, however these figures give reason for optimism going forward.