Official data released yesterday showed that unemployment has risen to 2.5 million, an increase of 53,000 from the previous quarter.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation have surveyed 200 of their clients for their monthly Jobs Outlook survey, the results of which are positive for contract staff. 88% of respondents stated that they would increase or maintain their use of temporary workers over the next quarter. This is an increase of 2% from the previous month.

REC research director, Roger Tweedy commented: “The current demand for agency workers is spearheading the jobs market and reinforces the importance of a flexible workforce while the economic recovery continues.”

He also stated that firms are using contract staff to provide “a bridge in capacity” while they grow their permanent staff teams.

Meanwhile, Contractor UK have spoken to recruiter Randstad Staffing regarding the results of the REC survey. They said that flexible models of staffing are popular with clients as a “safeguard against any lingering uncertainties about the strength of the recovery”.

Andy Moss, Randstad’s finance director added: “The findings are typical of classes recession recovery patterns. We have seen an early cycle rise in the demand for permanent staff followed by a slightly lagged increase in demand for temporary workers. This is consistent with an economy that is emerging from a period of negative growth to more benign trading conditions.”

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