By Max Clarke

Drawing the week to a close, Fresh Business Thinking have selected the most significant stories from the business world.

Monday 29th: Northerners lead the way in UK holiday market

Residents in the North of the UK proportionally contribute more to the UK’s vital tourism industry than their counterparts in the South, according to Newcastle based Survey and Marketing Services.

“With travel costs continuing to rise, and more limited flight destinations and choice of airports compared to those found in the South, certain holidaymakers in the North are being priced out of a foreign holiday abroad this year,” explains the company’s research head, Lesley Wright.

Tuesday 30th: UK tech firms fear brain drain

Mid-sized technology companies in the UK reportedly fear losing their key employees to overseas competitors who offer the UK’s brightest ‘provide a richer, more challenging environment for them to work in’, Zurich insurance report.

Zurich’s findings echo warnings from the Confederation of British Industry, who fear that the growing, UK-wide skills shortage poses one of the greatest barriers to the UK recovery.

Wednesday 31st: 50% of UK workforce unaware of 2012 auto-enrolment pension reform

Research from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests that half of the workforce remain ignorant of the single biggest change to the UK pension scheme in a century. Communication between government and employers must be more transparent, argue the institute, who advocate the introduction of a single flat-rate, non-means tested pension for the populous.

Thursday 1st: Growth rate slows for online retailers

Thursday saw mixed news from the eCommerce specialists at Actinic, who report that business for small online retailers continues to grow, and at a faster rate than the high streets.

The rate of growth, however, has appreciably slowed since last year, as consumer confidence remains low and households delay making all but necessary purchases.

Friday 2nd: ‘Cautious optimism’ in the UK labour market

The biggest voice in the UK’s £20bn private recruitment industry hinted at a ‘cautious’ return to confidence among recruiters. Recruitment, the Confederation explain, impacts on every sector of the UK economy, and so today’s news effectively serves as a barometer for the nation’s broader economic health.

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