London recruitment levels 'to return to normal in 2013'

The London jobs market has been boosted by the news that many firms are expecting to start hiring staff as normal within the next six months.

After a period of recruiting only essential staff in the first half of 2012, things are starting to look up on the London recruitment scene, according to the latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey of 168 companies in the capital.

It found that 61% of London companies will be hiring as normal in the coming six months - whereas just 16% of firms said the same back in July.

There is also a marked drop in the number of businesses reporting a recruitment freeze, from 51% to 31%.

And over the same period the proportion of companies making redundancies fell from 31% to 21%.

Despite the apparently increased optimism about jobs and recruitment in London, companies do still appear to be cautious about where the economy is heading.

The survey showed that 40% feel more optimistic about the prospects for the economy over the next six months, while 22% feel more pessimistic.

Difficulty in obtaining credit has been a well-publicised problem since the financial crisis hit and it appears this is still the case for a number of firms, as it came out of the survey as the fourth biggest concern for businesses in London over the next year.

Companies' top three concerns were revealed to be the impact of the eurozone crisis, the threat of another recession and the lack of a clear Government strategy to drive economic growth.

But companies in the capital remain positive about the city's competitiveness, with 92% rating London as a good or very good place to do business, up from 86% in July.

The impact of this year's Olympics was cited in the poll, with 92% of businesses saying the event will help to promote London on the global stage and a quarter saying they have derived direct benefits from the Games.

Businesses were not too downbeat about London transport either, expressing the belief in the survey that all modes of transport, with the exception of air travel, are improving.

Copyright Press Association 2012