Finance sector boosts jobs and optimism

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The figures are extremely positive, given that traditionally the first three months of the year are a quieter period for recruitment, as companies scale back after Christmas, said Mark Cahill, managing director at Manpower, which conducted the survey.

Cahill said: ‘The fact that UK employers are reporting their highest New Year levels of confidence since 1998 is great news.

‘With low levels of unemployment, it is very much a jobseekers’ market and the opportunity is there for candidates to develop their experience and skills. In this climate, employers need to continue to review recruitment procedures and benefits packages in order to attract the best candidates.’

The Manpower Employment Outlook Survey measures employer hiring intentions for January to March 2005. A total of 2,100 UK employers were surveyed in the UK and over 35,000 employers in 19 countries and territories around the world.

The net employment outlook for the UK in the first quarter is +14%. When seasonal variations are taken into account, the outlook improves to +18%.

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