Jobs boost as survey shows employer confidence has risen again

A major new survey has signalled a jobs boost with the news that most employers (53%) are happy with the state of the economy.

The overwhelming majority of firms (97%) are planning to either increase (44%) or maintain (47%) the size of their permanent workforce, according to the latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC).

Employees at a stage in their career where flexibility is key may also be buoyed by the findings, with 95% of employers planning to increase or maintain their use of agency workers over the next year.

Zero-hours contracts are proving to be a hot employment topic right now and the survey shed some new light on this area of recruitment.

Around one in four (27%) employers said they have at least one worker on a zero-hours-type contract, with two-thirds of firms saying they do not use them at all.

REC chief executive Kevin Green said zero-hours contracts are an example of the flexibility businesses have needed to show in order to withstand the recession and keep their staff in jobs.

Speaking more generally about the latest survey, Mr Green said the flexibility businesses have shown in adapting to the downturn has directly resulted in "the soaring success of the UK jobs market".

He added: "As this month's figures show, flexibility has enabled our labour market to flourish. Employers are growing increasingly confident in the UK economy and making positive hiring decisions as they look forward to next year."

The JobsOutlook report is based on the responses of 600 employers to questions about their recruitment plans over the next quarter and the next year.

Respondents to the survey include public, private and non-profit organisations of varying sizes and across a spread of industries.

Copyright Press Association 2013