Job vacancies grow but part-time employment trends continue, reports suggest

The number of jobs will continue to grow in the first quarter, it is believed. But one in three workers are being left wanting more hours.

That is because there is a growing number of people being recruited in jobs that are neither full-time nor permanent in nature. This trend is likely to continue for the foreseeable future.

The UK's stalling economy is forcing recruiters to use more flexible employment arrangements and reduced hours, according to a new report.

A survey of 2,000 staff discovered that those on part-time agreements believe that their employers are not able to offer them more hours.

A separate study of 1,000 companies found that one in three have reduced work for some of their staff since 2008.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said its data implied that private firms' growth should see employment continue to rise in the first quarter of 2013.

The report, published before fresh employment figures on Wednesday (February 20), admitted that there has been a 'jobs enigma', with increased employment being seen despite faltering economic growth.

The CIPD said short-term employment expansion looks set to continue, despite the stalling of economic development.

The CIPD's Gerwyn Davies put this down in part to a slowing in pay rises. But he also said that there is ongoing proof that suggests companies are reluctant to let go of skilled staff.

Mr Davies said this is often described in terms of labour hoarding, which implies an irrational response by bosses.

But he said this reluctance has arisen because employers have learnt the lessons of history, where swift action to cut staff led to a loss of talent and damaged the capacity of organisations to recover.

He said some employers are obviously using flexible working and reduced hours to adapt to trading conditions.

Mr Davies added: "For many workers, this will mean they are offered less security, fewer hours and less money than they want. But for others this provides greater chances to secure flexible working."

He said this is particularly the case for older workers, who have fared best since the recession, but still have the greatest difficulty getting a job.

Copyright Press Association 2013