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Patricia Callan

Employee numbers grow in small firms

The Small Firms Association’s Jobs Sentiment Survey for the second half of 2014, indicates an increase in employee numbers within small firms, reflecting the recent upturn in labour market performance.

However, for some firms retaining and creating employment remains a challenge, SFA director, Patricia Callan has cautioned.

“Although the recovery path for the labour market won’t entirely be smooth, this survey shows that just over 30% of small firms plan to increase employee numbers in the second half of 2014 and 63% will retain their current employment levels. While the figures are positive, 7% of firms will reduce employee numbers, as business input costs and labour costs remain challenging.” Ms Callan said.

“There are sectors such as traded services and hospitality that are showing strong job growth, for other sectors job creation will be fragile and every step must be taken to ensure no additional taxes are placed on labour to ensure job retention and growth,” she added.

The SFA director said while some firms will retain a recruitment freeze, 27% of respondents indicated an increase in the recruitment of permanent staff during the final six months of 2014 and nearly 29% will recruit temporary staff.

“While firms may be reluctant to recruit based on a number of issues, mainly business and financial uncertainty; these figures are a positive move in the right direction,” said Ms Callan.

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