Sometimes the doom and gloom around the financial markets can seem overwhelming, but there is definitely good news out there and recently the Recruitment and Employment Confederation published encouraging findings on job prospects. It claims that business confidence is on the rise with 74% of employers surveyed are expecting to hire permanent staff in the next three months, with a further 66% looking to do so in the next year. Additionally, the data highlighted significant reductions in headcount freezes, reduced hours and redundancies. Nor is the good news confined to permanent appointments. The outlook for temporary placements look similarly upbeat with 76% of survey respondents looking to increase or maintain temporary staff levels in the short term. Commenting on the findings, REC Director of Research Roger Tweedy said: ‘Employers are more positive about their hiring intentions, which reflects an improvement in overall business confidence. It is too early to predict whether this will translate into significant jobs growth by the end of the year, but we remain confident that the private sector can absorb the fall-out from public sector cuts. ‘Some of the media reactions to this month’s official employment figures have been overly negative and we must avoid systematically talking our jobs market down. Employers are recognising the need to ramp up their recruitment activity in order to attract high-potential candidates and move their business forward,’ Tweedy added.