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The latest JobsOutlook Survey for April 2010, published by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC), shows the highest employer confidence recorded so far this year.
A total of 96% of employers surveyed stated they now expect their permanent workforces to remain static or grow within the next three months, a rise of 2% on the previous month.
A total of 86% expect their use of agency workers to grow or stay the same within the same period.
The longer term outlook is also encouraging with 94% of employers expecting to maintain or grow their permanent workforce over the next 12 months. On top of this, one in three employers, compared to one in four last month, expect to either increase or keep static their use of temporary workers in the next 12 months.
This underlines the importance of agency work as a source of flexibility for businesses and as an important route back into work for job-seekers.
Commenting on the JobsOutlook findings, Roger Tweedy, the REC's Director of Research, said "this is the most encouraging sign we have had so far that the jobs market is now gathering momentum led by a higher demand for temporary workers. Following last month's slight dip in employer confidence businesses are forging ahead with plans to stabilise or expand their workforces. This fits with the feedback from professional recruiters on the ground, who are reporting increased hiring activity in most sectors."
"Looking ahead, public sector cuts could act as a counterweight to the improving jobs outlook in the private sector. Post-election, the debate will need to focus on new ways of delivering public services rather than on short-term cuts, and this is one of the main thrusts of our current public sector resourcing campaign."
"The kind of flexible staffing models that are in high demand in the private sector could provide cost-effective solutions for public bodies. This could also maintain employment opportunities, particularly in regions that are heavily reliant on public sector jobs. This whole issue will be discussed at the REC's public sector summit in June when recruiters and employers working in the sector will have a chance to explore the future of public sector resourcing over the next five years."