According to the Recruitment & Employment Confederation’s latest Jobs Outlook, almost one in four (22%) of UK employers are planning to increase their use of temporary labour in the next three months. The report also shows 28% are planning to recruit more agency workers over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile, 83% indicate their workforces will be maintained and only 12% say permanent headcount will grow, a two-point drop on last month. For the longer term, 73% anticipate their permanent workforce staying static and 22% to grow, down two points on last month.

Roger Tweedy, the REC’s director of research, says: “The upward trend in both short and long-term use of temporary staff confirms that employers view flexible resourcing options as the best way of gearing themselves up for economic growth.

“It will be next year that the full impact of the Spending Review will be felt – not only by public sector employers but also be private sector businesses which supply into the public sector. As a result, it is not surprising that employers are showing increased caution in terms of hiring permanent staff.”

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By Mark Burton