For the first time since the Small Firms Association’s (SFA) quarterly sentiment survey began in 2009, more companies have indicated they would take on new staff in the next three months than let people go.
Some 23pc of the 592 companies surveyed expect to recruit temporary staff in the next three months, with 15pc of respondents expecting to recruit permanent staff in the same time frame.
The proportion of respondents implementing layoffs (3pc) and short-time working arrangements (8pc) now stand at their lowest levels since the series began in the first quarter of 2009.
The percentage of companies implementing compulsory redundancies (3pc) has dropped significantly since 2009, when more than one in five companies (22pc) indicated they would be implementing compulsory redundancies in the next three months.
“The overall survey results show a continuing improvement in the sentiment of small business owner-managers; however, many remain under serious pressure,” said Patricia Callan, director of the SFA.
“The Government’s Jobs Initiative and, in particular, the halving of the lower rate of employer’s PRSI has been well received by small businesses and they are now responding with real job creation. The Government must continue to improve the competitive environment in which small businesses operate, cutting costs wherever it can. This is the only way to solve the jobs crisis”.