Firms looking to increase staff numbers but finding it hard to hire skilled workers

Confidence among UK businesses reach highest level in 22 years

Companies’ optimism is at the highest level since research began in 1992, according to the latest Business in Britain report from Lloyds.

Since the last report in January 2014, the confidence index has increased by eight points to 53 per cent, mainly driven by firms’ expectations of increasing profits.

Lloyds reports that optimism has improved in all regions, particularly the South West, North East, Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

Companies are also more confident about their orders in the second half of 2014. 61 per cent revealed that they are expecting an increase, with only five per cent expecting a drop.

While firms signalled that they intended to increase staff numbers for the second half of the year, of the 1,500 UK businesses surveyed, 36 per cent admitted they are finding it difficult hiring skilled workers.

In April, PCR reported that employment trends in the technology sector are outstripping those seen across the rest of the UK private sector.

According to a report from KPMG/Markit, almost half of tech companies are expecting to employ additional staff this year.

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