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Employers' confidence to hire reaches three-year high, according to REC

Employer confidence to recruit has reached the highest level since 2009, according to The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s JobsOutlook, a monthly survey of employers’ hiring intentions.

The report found employers intend to hire more staff in both the short and long term, with a particular emphasis on taking on more permanent workers. However, the increase in confidence was smaller from February to March than the previous month.

Almost three quarters of employers (72%) plan to increase the number of permanent employees over the next three months and 69% expect to increase permanent hires over the next year

More than a third (34%) plan to increase agency worker numbers in the next quarter (with 44%saying they plan to keep numbers the same) and 29% will increase agency workers over the next 12 months (with 55% saying they will maintain their current numbers).

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation's director of research, Roger Tweedy, said: "The overall figures from quarter one are really positive. Looking forward, employers tell us they plan to make more job offers over both the short and medium term - particularly for permanent roles.

"Our measure of employer confidence has reached a record high point. But the growth in confidence was less than last month so it will be important to track whether increasing employer confidence is a continuing trend or whether it's peaking."