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Greater increase than last year predicted for jobs in 2008

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More than a third of British companies are expected to increase their workforce over the coming year the highest level recorded in 14 years.

This is according to the 17th annual UPS Europe Business Monitor. The figure is up 2% on last year’s 36%. Further results show that nearly half of UK companies expect to keep their workforce at the same level as it is now.

Companies are optimistic about their economic prospects too, with 55% of UK business leaders predicting a better financial position for their company in 12 months’ time.

This is in sharp contrast to the CIPD’s recent warning that 2008 will be the “worst year for jobs in a decade”. Last month it forecasted a net rise of total UK employment of 75,000 (0.25%), in the year to December 2008. This is just a third of the rise recorded in both 2006 and 2007.

While CIPD’s John Philpott says “many HR professionals will be dusting off redundancy manuals in the coming months”, UPS UK & Ireland’s managing director, Jim Barber, feels “it is very encouraging to see businesses in the UK feeling optimistic, especially in terms of the employment outlook”.