Three out of four employers plan to increase their workforce over the next few months, showing that business confidence in the UK is on the rise, according to new research last Thursday.

A survey of 600 employers by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) also showed that redundancies, headcount freezes and reduced working hours were all “significantly” down.

Most of those polled said they would look to increase or maintain their use of agency staff over the next year.

Roger Tweedy, the REC’s director of research, said: “Employers are more positive about theirhiring intentions, which reflects an improvement in overall business confidence.

“However, it is too early to predict whether this will translate into significant jobs growth by the end of the year but we remain confident that the private sector can absorb the fall-out from public sector cuts.

“Employers are recognising the need to ramp up their recruitment activity in order to attract high-potential candidates and move their business forward.

“Employer caution is starting to lift and we can afford to be more upbeat about the gradual recovery of the UK labour market.”

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