Two new business studies in the UK point to increasing confidence ahead of the new year.
The latest CBI/KPMG London Business Survey, released today, shows that 61% of the 168 London companies questioned expect to be hiring staff as normal over the next six months. This is in stark contrast to the 16% who said the same thing in July.
Similarly, the number of firms in the capital reporting a recruitment freeze fell to 31% from 51% in the summer.
London businesses still remain cautious about the UK’s economic recovery in 2013, with four in ten saying they feel more optimistic about the prospects for the economy over the next six months and 22% feeling more pessimistic.
Sara Parker, the CBI’s director for London, said it was encouraging news that the hiring freeze seen earlier in the year has begun to thaw and more companies are now getting back to recruiting as normal.
A separate study, published today by Bank of Scotland, shows that there are also positive signs for the labour market in Scotland.
The bank’s Labour Market Barometer has reached its highest level for seven months, climbing to 54.9 in November from 53.6 in October. The strongest monthly rise was seen in the IT and computing segment.
Any measure above 50 indicates an improvement in labour market conditions compared with the previous month.
The Bank of Scotland report indicated strong monthly increases in both permanent and temporary staff appointments at Scottish firms in November, as well as a rise in the number of job vacancies.
Bank of Scotland chief economist Donald MacRae said that employers are continuing to hire despite the economic slowdown, suggesting a rising trend in business confidence.