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Employers plan to increase permanent staff in 2014, survey finds

Asked about their plans for their permanent workforce in 2014 the report finds that:

Almost two thirds (64%) of employers plan to hire more permanent staff in the next quarter, 9 percentage points higher than this time last year.

More than half (56%) intend to take on make more permanent hires in the next 4-12 months, a little more than the 53% recorded in December 2012.

The outlook for use of flexible labour via recruitment agencies is also increasingly positive:

47% of employers say they will increase their use of agency staff in the next 3 months, compared to just 30% this time last year. In December 2012 the net balance (those planning to increase use minus those planning to decrease use) was just 16%. This month that figure is 39%, representing a marked change of intent.

The proportion of employers planning to take on temps over the next 4-12 months has increased by 3 points since November to 33%. The net balance of 25% is 11 points higher than the 14% recorded this time last year.

Other findings include:

Small businesses report the highest level of confidence when responses are assessed by business size.

The skills areas in which employers expressed concerns of possible candidate shortages are education and training, and driving and distribution.

In a sign that businesses are responding to signs of growing consumer willingness to spend, predicted demand for both permanent and temporary sales staff has increased yet again.

REC chief executive Kevin Green, said, “It's a bumper Christmas for the UK jobs market as employers indicate they intend to grow their workforces in 2014. This is good news for jobseekers. Compared to this time last year businesses are far more willing to commit to taking on more staff as they see demand for their products and services returning. The spike in demand for sales staff over the last quarter is particularly telling.”


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