Majority of employers predict increase in permanent staff recruitment

Employers are becoming increasingly optimistic, with the majority of them looking to recruit more permanent workers over the next three months.

The latest JobsOutlook survey from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) reveals that 60% of employers plan to increase their full-time workforce during this period, while 5% plan to reduce headcounts.

However, the balance between employers planning to increase and decrease permanent employees has dropped by five percentage points.

Some 400,000 more people are currently in employment compared to a year ago, with REC chief executive Kevin Green attributing this to the fact that employers are now "more optimistic".

He added that although recovering from the recession is taking longer than many would like, progress on jobs continues to outperform the rest of the economy.

Between the next 4-12 months, 53% of employers plan to increase their permanent headcount compared with 2% who are planning decreases.

The temporary recruitment outlook, meanwhile, also remains stable, with 40% planning to increase their headcount compared with 8% planning to decrease, which is similar to results in May.

"It comes down to confidence among employers and confidence among employees," commented Tom Lovell, managing director of jobs site Reed.

"It's important we continue to see jobs advertised if we're going to continue heading in the right direction."

The REC poll is similar to this month's job figures from the Office for National Statistics, which showed continued growth in the jobs market as unemployment fell by 5,000 in the three months to January 2013 compared to the previous three months.

This fall in the number of people out of work, combined with the rise in the number of people in work, highlights the resilience of the UK labour market, especially in such tough times.

JobsOutlook reports the responses of 600 employers who are questioned about their hiring intentions over the next quarter and the next year. Respondents are drawn from across the public, private and non-profit sector, and from across a range of industries and sizes of organisation.

Copyright Press Association 2013