Half of UK firms expect to create jobs next year, according to CBI report


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The Independent Online

More than half of the UK’s businesses expect to create new jobs over the next year, though real wages will continue to fall, a new report has found.

For the first time since the beginning of the recession, private sector employers across all regions expect a growth in workforces in the coming 12 months.

In the report by the British Confederation of Businesses (CBI) and consultancy firm Accenture, 51 per cent of the 325 British companies surveyed said they expect to add jobs. The regions with the most positive views are Yorkshire, Humberside and the East Midlands.

The survey also reveals that more than a third of companies are planning to raise pay below the rate of inflation, adding pressure to already squeezed disposable household incomes across Britain. Only 7 per cent plan to increase wages above the retail price index.

The Office for Budget Responsibility, the UK’s official economic watchdog recently said it did not expect annual wage rises to return to its historic level of 2 per cent for a couple of years.

Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: “We’re starting to see the recovery have an impact on business plans to hire, with more than half of firms boosting staff numbers next year and more opportunities for young people.”

Accenture and CBI’s survey shows that four in five businesses plan to hire more graduates and apprentices in 2014. However, most firms say they reject the idea of an increase in the national minimum wage.