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Round-up of the week

Posted on 27th February 2015

REC: Temp work becoming a more attractive option

Many people can earn just as much or more than they would in a permanent job if they are on a temporary contract, experts have revealed.

According to research by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC), 36 per cent of employers believe temporary workers can earn a higher salary, while 56 per cent think their income would be the same as that of a permanent employee.

The study also revealed that 75 per cent of employers are keen to take on temps as they believe it is a good way to gain "short-term access to key strategic skills".

Kevin Green, chief executive of REC, noted that the need for talent is "acute" and skilled workers are in "increasingly short supply". This, he said, means the option of taking on temporary work is "becoming more attractive".

"Ninety-three per cent of employers tell us that they have limited capacity to take on additional work, and many businesses are prepared to pay more for temporary workers in order to boost productivity and capitalise on the improving economic climate," he commented.

Mr Green added that this is good news for both jobseekers and recruiters who are in a strong negotiating position regarding pay.

BCC: UK economy remains strong

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has hailed the continuing upturn in the UK's economic fortunes.

According to the latest official figures, gross domestic product (GDP) went up by 0.5 per cent in the fourth quarter of 2014. This was fuelled partly by a slight upturn in production, while services output increased by 0.8 per cent.

David Kern, chief economist at the BCC, said this confirms that Britain's economic recovery "remain strong" and predicted that it "may gather further momentum".

However, he pointed out that business investment fell between October and December 2014.

This, he said, is a "timely reminder that more needs to be done to promote business investment and achieve better balanced growth".

"Britain’s economic growth is among the highest in the G7 - if we are to continue to build on this achievement we must do all that we can to support long-term business investment, while keeping interest rates low," Mr Kern added.

The ONS believes issues in the oil and gas sector contributed to the drop in business investment towards the end of last year, although the trade balance picked up in the fourth quarter of 2014 - due to exports rising at a stronger rate than imports.