UK employers are continuing to rely steadily on temporary/contracting staff while also looking to expand their permanent headcounts over the coming three months, the latest JobsOutlook survey from the REC suggests.

There has been a slight month-on-month dip in the proportion of employers seeking to hire permanent staff over the next quarter, however. 60% of employers plan to recruit permanent employees over the next three months, four points below last month’s total. 40% intend to increase their use of temporary staff, which includes skilled Umbrella Company Employees, representing a tiny drop of 1% on last month. Only 8% said they would be reducing temporary headcounts, while just 5% said they would cut permanent staff.

In the longer term, 53% of the 600 employers polled said they would increase their permanent workforce over the next 12 months, three points below May’s total. Only 2% planned to make cuts, while 34% planned to hire more temporary/contracting staff in the coming year – two points below last month. Just 7% plan to reduce their temp headcounts.

The REC’s chief executive, Kevin Green, said: “Our monthly survey remains consistent in its predictions of ongoing growth in employment this year and into 2014. Employers are sounding more optimistic than last year. 400,000 more people are in employment now than this time 12 months ago, proving the resilience of the UK’s labour market. Recovering from the recession may be taking longer than many would like, but progress on jobs continues to outperform the rest of the economy.”

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