JobsOutlook, the publication of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), reports that the United Kingdom job market will continue its trend of slow but steady growth in the coming year as employers continue to increase their rates of recruitment.

The report is based on the results of a survey of 600 employers that responded to questions about their intentions for 2013. Drawn from a range of industries and organisations of different sizes in the private, public and non-profit sector, more than half the respondents said that they planned add to their permanent workforce while about a third intended to employ more temporary staff.

Of the employers surveyed, JobsOutlook reports that in the first quarter of 2013:

•    57% plan to increase their permanent workforce with a further 40% planning to maintain their current staffing levels
•    35% plan to increase their use of agency staff while 55% intend to continue their current level of usage.

Figures for the calendar year 2013 were:

•    56% plan to increase their permanent workforce with a further 43% maintaining their current level
•    32% plan to increase their use of agency staff and 60% will keep their level of usage unchanged.

These figures all show a two to four per cent increase on projections of a month ago.

Tom Hadley
, REC Policy Director, acknowledges that these figures appear to conflict with the gloomy news about growth in GDP and closures of high profile businesses on the high street. He points out, however, that employers are able to retain staff or take on new workers because wage inflation has remained low. Also, job creation is fuelled mainly by small and medium sized enterprises and so is unaffected by high profile closures.

Mr Hadley adds that the data suggests that the UK labour market will continue its recent robust performance in 2013.