Skilled flexible workers should be able to take advantage of a growing demand for their services after the latest JobsOutlook survey showed that almost three-quarters of employers are hoping to hire staff during the next three months.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation’s (REC) report suggests that firms are now more confident about the future following an uncertain period during the run up to the general election in May. This is supported by the fact that 80% of firms believe that economic conditions are now improving.

74% intend to take on contractors and permanent employees in the near future, which is a notable increase on the 62% and 63% figures recorded during June and May; in addition, almost half of the respondents expect both investment and hiring to soar during the remainder of the year.

Meanwhile, 99% of respondents said that flexible workers who operate via a limited company are now being paid the same or more than they would be if they were permanent employees. Pay rates are increasing generally, with four in ten respondents revealing that their rates have risen during the last 12 months.

REC chief executive, Kevin Green said the data indicates the large majority of firms want to increase their respective head counts to meet growing demand; however, they are struggling to do so due to “chronic skills shortages” across a range of sectors, including construction, technical and engineering.

He added: “For workers the outlook is good. Starting salaries continue to rise as employers compete for talent, and permanent and temporary opportunities are available to those with the required skills and capability.”

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