Employers in every region of the UK have plans to increase their number of staff next year, according to a new survey.
The Confederation of British Industry's (CBI) annual survey of 323 companies across the country revealed that 50 per cent of respondents said their workforce would be bigger in one year's time, in comparison to just 12 per cent who said it would be smaller.
However, all employers remained cautious about pay, with only a small proportion offering above-inflation wage rises.
But despite real wages in the UK beginning to increase slightly after the steepest fall on record, Katja Hall - deputy director general at the CBI - said it was "fair to say companies are still taking quite a cautious approach" to pay.
According to the CBI, low productivity growth was one reason why employers were cautious about pay, as well as a new legal requirement to enrol all employees aged 21 and over, and earning in excess of £833 per month, into a workplace pension scheme.
In terms of employment, the figure for the number of unemployed people in the UK has seen a decrease from 7.4 per cent last year to six per cent in 2014.
This indicates increasing confidence among employers, as they plan to hire more permanent staff next year and also prepare to take on more apprentices, graduates and young people.
Ms Hall believes that the responses from the survey show that "the recovery is bedding in effectively".
However, one major concern for employers is the low levels of skills in the workplace. Over the past year, corporate leaders and trade unions in the UK have come together to form a general consensus that UK businesses need to work harder to spend more on training and improving apprenticeships, in order for the country to move out of its poor productivity performance.
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