ALMOST a third of local companies reported an increase in business last month, as the Island begins to pull away from the economic downturn associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to the latest Business Tendency Survey conducted by Statistics Jersey, most sectors were positive over the past quarter with ‘an increase in business activity reported by 30% of businesses, compared with 10% that reported a decline’.
The survey found employment and earnings prospects in Jersey for late 2022 were extremely positive. However, finance continued to outperform other local industries.
Finance saw overall growth across indicators and half of all finance-sector companies surveyed said they expected to take on additional staff over the coming three months.
‘Within the non-finance sector, the future employment indicator was strongly positive for other non-finance (+26 percentage points) and construction (+25pp) and moderately positive for wholesale and retail (+10pp), while it was neutral for hotels, restaurants and bars (+9pp),’ the report said.
While most (99%) businesses reported they were trading actively by last month, the report added that 12% of companies said they had fewer staff working than usual.
The pandemic trend towards working from home also seems to be holding, particularly within the finance sector.
‘Of the all-sector businesses that employed staff, 4% said that all their staff were working remotely in the last three months while 61% of businesses said that some of their staff had worked remotely in the last three months,’ the report found. By contrast, 35% of businesses said none of their staff had worked remotely since March this year.
‘Compared to last quarter, there has been a slight increase in the number of staff working remotely some of the time and a slight decrease in the number of staff all working remotely and none working remotely.
‘In the last three months, 93% of all business in the finance sector reported some of their staff working remotely while 3% reported that none of their staff worked remotely.
‘In the non-finance sector, 44% reported some staff worked remotely, but 53% reported none of their staff had worked remotely since March 2022.’