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Workforces set to increase next year, predicts CBI

Nearly half of Britain's businesses plan to hire more staff over the next year, as the private sector job recovery continues, Britain's leading business group will say today.

The results of a survey by the CBI and recruitment consultancy Harvey Nash will be welcomed by ministers, who need businesses to step in and create jobs as the public sector faces cuts.

The report found 47 per cent of employers are predicting that their workforces will be larger in a year, with only 19 per cent predicting they will be smaller, giving a balance of plus 28 per cent.

Only 7 per cent of firms are operating a recruitment freeze, compared with 61 per cent during the depths of the recession in 2009. However, there is a marked difference between permanent and temporary recruitment with prospects for temps deteriorating significantly ahead of the October introduction of the EU's Agency Workers Directive, which gives more rights. The CBI is calling for a full review of the impact of this to "strip out any Whitehall-inspired gold-plating to minimise the damage and retain as many job opportunities as possible".

The survey found just 16 per cent of employers are planning an increase in the use of temps, with 20 per cent looking to cut back, giving a balance of minus 4 per cent. Pay restraint remains the norm across all workers, with nearly half of firms planning a below-inflation pay award or targeted pay rises.