The latest REC JobsOutlook report, which surveys 600 UK employers for their hiring intentions, reveals that 90% of those surveyed plan to either maintain or increase their temporary/contracting headcounts over the next 12 months.

Umbrella Company Employees and other freelancers in the temp market are, it would seem, in steady demand even as hirers plan to expand their permanent staff complements. The poll also reveals that hirers plan to appoint more permanent employees over the coming four to twelve months, with the proportion intending to do so leaping from 43% to 50% in one month.

The REC’s chief executive officer, Kevin Green, said that the rise in consumer and business confidence over the last few months had given hirers the “green light” to expand their permanent headcounts; however, employers continue to appreciate the contribution of agency workers, he added.

Mr Green continued: “Temporary agency workers are a vital part of the UK’s labour market, allowing employers to flex their workforce in response to fluctuating demand. Temp work is also a great way for people to get their foot in the door if they are after a permanent position. Nine out of ten employers tell us they have offered a permanent role to someone who started out at their business as an agency worker.”

58% of hirers plan to appoint more permanent staff over the next quarter, which is a rise of seven points on last month’s total. More than one-third of the respondents (36%) said they planned to hire more temporary/contracting staff over the next three months.

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