THE trend of cautious private-sector hiring caused by the flexibility of the UK labour market is likely to persist for the next six months, a survey by the CBI and recruitment specialists Harvey Nash suggests.
The poll covered 300 companies, employing around 1.4 million people in the UK. It found 35 per cent of businesses expect their workforce to be larger in 12 months' time, while 15 per cent predict they will be smaller.
Katja Hall, CBI chief policy director, said: "The performance of our flexible labour market in generating jobs in a sluggish economy is a mini-miracle. Businesses look set to continue with the positive but cautious approach to hiring that we've seen over the past couple of years, and this is echoed in expected pay restraint designed to protect employment.
"While the jobs figures tell a promising story, too many young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are not getting jobs because job creation at a skilled level requires skills and attitudes which we do not help them to develop.
"The challenge for the Government and businesses is to ensure that barriers to employment can be overcome."