A quarter of the 200 UK employers surveyed in the latest REC JobsOutlook report believe that the forthcoming Olympics will boost their businesses and improve hiring confidence. Just 4% believe that the games will have a negative effect on their prospects.

Skilled contractors working through umbrella companies need not be unduly perturbed at the headline figure for temporary billings. Although more employers plan to hire temporary staff over the next three to twelve months than in the previous survey (up from 26% to 28%), the number intending to cut temporary staff has also risen (from 15% to 19%); however, this conceals a crucial detail of great relevance to PAYE umbrella contractors: core contractor disciplines remain very much in demand.

Employers anticipate increased demand over the next twelve months for candidates (temporary and permanent) with expertise in the IT skills market, the technical and engineering sectors and, especially, in the professional and managerial sector. The report suggests that the latter tops the poll because businesses are “looking to manage the continuing economic challenges.”

Roger Tweedy, director of the REC, said that bad news from the continent was battering employers, who were showing signs of hesitancy as official growth figures remain stubbornly stuck; however, he continued, “there are still reasons to be positive. Consumer confidence is rising slowly, and the impact of that should filter through to businesses in a few months. Barring any terrible shocks from the eurozone and with the potential of a boost to business from the Olympics we could still be on track for slow improvements in job creation as time progresses.”

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