Businesses in the UK are becoming increasingly confident about expanding their workforce, especially small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
That is according to new research carried out by the Recruitment Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG, whose recent report suggested that more companies are looking to hire.
The figures suggest that small businesses are significantly more confident about their growth prospects. Given the government's recent announcement to increase funding access to SMEs looking to grow and expand, this is good news.
Interestingly, temporary jobs and contract staffing placements are on the rise for the first time in nine months.
REC chief executive Kevin Green attributed this to the fact that many business leaders use flexible agency workers to meet increases in demand.
The report also suggested that, should this trend continue, it could indicate that companies want to hire more people but are unable to recruit for permanent positions.
There are a number of ways that the economic outlook for small businesses in the UK could improve over the coming months and boost hiring confidence even further.
For example, business secretary Vince Cable has recently announced plans to develop a public-funded business bank to increase access to funding for firms that have been turned down for a loan on the high street.
Bernard Brown, partner and head of business services at KPMG, welcomed the optimistic hiring figures.
"With question marks still hanging over the long-term state of the economy, it would be easy to suggest that an upward curve in the jobs market is nothing more than a blip.
"But the truth is that, in some parts of the country, we are actually seeing a growth in the number of companies recruiting and where there is a decline it is now virtually insignificant," he said.
Mr Brown even went so far as to suggest that the first signs of recovery are finally visible.
"Temporary placements are also on the up, so the hope must be that employer confidence is returning, that they are looking to the long-term and recruiting for growth," he said.
This contrasts with a recent report from the Trades Union Congress, which warned that British workers are only a quarter of the way through a 12-year 'wage dive'.
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