Firms are more optimistic about recruiting staff in the New Year than at any time since 1998, says a report.
A survey of 2,100 employers showed a positive outlook for jobs in the next few months, especially in finance and business services.
The poll, by employment group Manpower, reveals that agriculture is the only sector where cutbacks are expected.
Employers in the North East are most optimistic, while those in London, the North West, West Midlands and Eastern regions are least likely to take on new staff.
Manpower’s Mark Cahill said: “These figures are extremely positive, particularly as the first three months of the year are traditionally a quieter time for recruitment.”