Thirty percent of Irish small firms plan to recruit new staff in the coming months as the economic recovery begins to gather momentum, the latest Jobs Sentiment Survey from the Small Firms Association shows.
It also found that 63pc of firms will retain employee numbers in 2014 while 7pc will reduce employee figures and 45pc expect their pay bill to increase in 2014.
The survey shows the level of lay offs and reduction in employee hours has slowed, which may be a reflection of increased sentiment within the small business community and some positive exchequer figures on the economy.
SFA Director, Patricia Callan stated, "Although the recovery path for the labour market won't entirely be smooth, this survey shows that just over 30pc of small firms plan to increase employee numbers in the second half of 2014 and 63pc will retain their current employment levels. While the figures are positive, 7pc of firms will reduce employee numbers as business input costs and labour costs remain challenging."
"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," added Ms Callan.
While some firms will retain a recruitment freeze, 27pc of respondents indicated an increase in the recruitment of permanent staff during the final 6 months of 2014 and nearly 29pc 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.