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Recruiters approaching 2012 with caution

Although economic uncertainty is causing recruiters to approach 2012 with caution, many employers say they still plan to hire over the coming year. So just what are the prospects for 2012?

The Recruitment & Employment Confederation's January JobsOutlook survey, which tracks future hiring intentions, shows that many employers are adopting a 'wait and see' approach to recruiting this year and are keen to see how the UK's economic fortunes pan out before taking on new staff. The January findings show a general slowdown in short-term recruitment, with a 2 per cent drop in the number of employers intending to hire new staff, and the number of graduate vacancies expected to fall by 1.2 per cent.

Nevertheless, prospects in the longer term may not be as bleak as previously feared. A sizeable proportion of those surveyed - 59 per cent - said they were planning to take on new permanent staff in the longer term in 2012. Demand for temporary staffing remains firm, with a total of 27 per cent of employers planning to increase their use of agency workers during the coming year, in spite of the introduction of the new Agency Worker Regulations last year which gave equal rights to temporary and permanent workers.

Skills shortages were also identified in a number of key sectors, notably in professional and managerial roles, healthcare and education on the permanent side, and in distribution, catering and accounting on the temporary side.

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