Despite current economic uncertainties, confidence among employers has steadied with 64 per cent expecting to increase their permanent workforce in the next three months. There was also a positive outlook for the longer-term picture with 65 per cent of employers saying they expected to increase their workforce over the next twelve months. Only six per cent of employers said they expected to make staff cutbacks over the coming year.

This optimism is also set to benefit the temporary workforce with 78 per cent of employers planning to either increase or maintain their number of agency staff in the short term, and a similar number (77 per cent) said this trend was set to continue over the course of the next year.

Commenting on the latest figures, Roger Tweedy, the REC’s Director of Research, said:

“Employer confidence is at a 12 month high but the big picture is one of cautious optimism as businesses assess how the UK economy will perform in the coming months. This ‘upbeat’ sentiment is starting to spread to consumers with the report indicating a significant upturn in consumer confidence after almost a year of steady decline. The two factors combined should lead to increased fluidity within the jobs market.

“While the latest Report on Jobs from REC and KPMG showed a deceleration in the rate of growth, it is important to note that there was still an increase in actual placements in most sectors. The latest JobsOutook data confirms a more upbeat prognosis for the mid and longer term. This will however be tempered by the ability of the private sector to absorb public sector cuts which still hangs in the balance”.