Medium-sized firms will create the most jobs and are more likely to increase pay this year, according to a new study.
Half of businesses are looking to increase staffing levels, rising to two-thirds among mid-sized companies , a survey of more than 660 firms by Barclays showed .
The report, published ahead of the latest unemployment figures, also revealed that the number of employers planning to cut jobs has fallen from 10% to 5% over the past year.
Middle and junior management roles continue to be the most in demand, although there has been an increase in bigger firms seeking senior staff.
Kevin Wall, chairman of Barclays Corporate Banking, said: “Skills shortages are most evident amongst the mid-size businesses surveyed, and the increases they are planning in both hiring and wages may be an attempt to address this imbalance.
“This is positive news for employees as firms compete for talent but also, in the longer term, for businesses themselves as they look to ensure they are well-positioned for future growth opportunities.”
The latest figures are expected to show another fall in unemployment from last month’s total of 1.86 million.
The number of people claiming jobseeker’s allowance is also set to continue falling from January’s figure of 823,000.
Today’s data from the Office for National Statistics will be the penultimate set of jobless figures before May’s general election.
People over the age of 50 are delaying their retirement to support their lifestyle, often becoming self employed, according to another report.
A survey of more than 11,000 over 50s by Saga showed that almost one in five have put retirement plans on hold indefinitely.
Paul Green of Saga said: “No government or employer can afford to ignore the contribution of the working older generation. Our report predicts that the number of over 50s in employment will increase to over 10.7 million by 2020. Attitudes and policies will need to change to reflect that.”