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UK Jobs Outlook 'Positive' For First Time In 12 Months Claims Study

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The jobs outlook has turned positive for the first time in more than a year as fewer firms plan redundancies, according to a study.

A survey of 1,000 employers showed a positive difference between those planning to recruit staff compared to firms expecting lay-offs.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) warned that any optimism should be tempered by continued caution among employers about their medium-term prospects.

The more optimistic outlook was driven by a fall in the number of firms and public-sector organisations intending to make staff redundant rather than a rise in recruitment plans.

The study also found an increase in the number of organisations expecting to switch work to overseas countries in the coming year.

Gerwyn Davies of the CIPD said: "The jobs market is desperately seeking good news, so this latest set of positive figures is very welcome. However, any short-term jobs recovery may not be sustained because of the zigzagging economic backdrop.

"News of a double-dip recession may cause some employers to reassess current staffing levels, especially while labour costs are rising and productivity is falling. The current economic situation facing recruiters looks unusually difficult to read, which may lead to swings in confidence for the rest of the year.

"Overall, this may suggest greater volatility in the labour market during 2012 compared to the slow, gradual rise in unemployment recorded during the past year.

"The continuing pressure on employers to cut costs is highlighted by the increase in employer intentions to offshore UK jobs to other parts of the world. However, the survey also highlights the dangers facing employers that focus too narrowly on costs at the expense of quality when offshoring, with around a quarter of employers now planning to relocate jobs back to the UK."

The report was published ahead of new unemployment figures on Wednesday.

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