Employment set to rise as part-time jobs 'drive the UK's recovery'

Employment rates will grow steadily in the remainder of the year with part-time and temporary jobs set to continue to play a key role, according to new figures.

One in four workers hired over the coming weeks will be recruited on a part-time basis, a report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) revealed.

That represents a slowing down in what has been a rapidly emerging trend but nevertheless suggests such roles will continue to play a major part in the jobs market.

Companies have scaled back their recruitment plans although this has been offset to some degree by positive developments in the public sector, the report found.

Employers appear likely to continue enjoying the immediate benefits of taking on temporary workers, with one in five planning to increase the proportion of temporary staff among their workforce in the next year.

With firms looking to cut their costs over the short term as part of a prudent approach to the economic situation, temporary positions accounted for more than a third of the rise in staff numbers in recent months.

"The shift to more part-time and temporary employment looks set to continue to drive the jobs market further along the road to recovery," said Gerwyn Davies of the CIPD.

However, Mr Davies sounded a note of caution regarding the trend despite the fact that it "may drive up employment levels to reach new heights in the coming months".

He pointed out that employees could continue to feel the squeeze as employers look to minimise wage growth as issues of "cost and risk" remain paramount to organisations striving to endure the hostile economic climate.

People may find themselves turning to less secure jobs and working fewer hours than they would ideally like, Mr Davies suggested.

Indeed, the CIPD study showed that there is likely to be an increase in the number of so-called "under-employed" people - part-time workers who would rather be in a full-time post - although the rate of the increase will slow down.

"The sustainability of the recovery, supported by growing consumer confidence, may well depend on the extent to which firms are able to convert these part-time and temporary jobs into more full-time and permanent roles," Mr Davies added.

Copyright Press Association 2012