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Firms feel confident of hiring more staff

COMPANIES in Scotland expect to be in hiring mode next year, overall, a survey from the ­Confederation of ­British Industry revealed.

Subtracting the ­percentage expecting a reduction in staff numbers over the next 12 months from those anticipating an increase, a net 46% of firms forecast a rise during the coming year.

Scotland was joint third-strongest in terms of firms' hiring intentions among the 12 nations and regions surveyed by the CBI and management consultant, Accenture.

In the UK as a whole, the CBI noted the proportion of firms expecting an increase in the workforce during the coming year had come in at more than 50% for the first time since the onset of ­recession in 2008.

With 51% of employers in the UK projecting an increase in the coming year and 12% anticipating a fall, a net 39% of firms forecast a rise in the workforce in the coming year.

The CBI said the survey, published today, showed a continued "cautious" approach to pay, as well as increasing of opportunities for young people to find work, with companies ­planning to take on more graduates and apprentices.

Of UK firms surveyed, 33% planned to raise ­graduate intake in the next 12 months and only 13% expected to reduce it.

The CBI found 39% of companies planning a pay rise below annual UK retail prices index inflation, which was 2.6% in October, or targeting an increase on only certain staff. But it also noted that the proportion of firms planning to freeze pay at the next review had dropped to a new low of 8%.

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