Eight out of nine business sectors are looking to recruit staff in the first quarter of 2006, according to the Manpower employment outlook survey, which interviewed nearly 2,000 UK employers.
The finance and business services industry showed the most confidence, with a net employment outlook (the percentage of employers planning on taking on new employees minus those considering staff cutbacks) of 20% for January-March 2006 and an increase of 20% since October-December 2005.
The utilities industry also plans on increasing its workforce by 12%, followed closely by the community and social sector.
Employers in construction, transport and hotels and retail, however, all expect to recruit at levels below the national average.
Ten out of 12 UK regions said they would be adding to their workforces in the January-March 2006 survey.
Employers in the North East are the most optimistic, with a net employment outlook of 33%, while London’s hiring intentions are also buoyant, with an outlook of 24%.
Employers in the South East, South West, East Midlands and West Midlands, however, all report figures below the national average.