The underlying strengths of the UK labour market will see jobs growth continue into 2017, according to the latest CBI/Pertemps Network Group Employment Trends Survey.
The 19th annual survey - which questioned 353 respondents employing nearly 1.2m people - found that four in ten (41%) firms across the UK will grow their workforce in the year ahead. For the fourth year running, growth in permanent job opportunities will outstrip temporary recruitment.
While the pace has slowed by comparison to last year's survey, the positive balance of firms expecting to add employees over those expecting to shed jobs stands at 28 per cent. This continues an optimistic trend seen every year since 2011.
However, uncertainty about the UK's future relationship with the EU has shaken overall confidence in the labour market. Overall, the balance of respondents expecting the UK to be a more attractive place to employ people in the next five years has flipped from 16 per cent in the 2015 survey to minus 21 per cent in the year's results.
Josh Hardie, CBI deputy director-general, said: "With record employment levels, more people than ever are now in work and the strengths of the UK labour market look set to yield positive results over the course of 2017.
"Businesses are 100 per cent committed to making the best of Brexit. However, this year's survey does show a greater sense of concern about the UK's long-term attractiveness as a place to create jobs. Getting our industrial strategy right and understanding what the UK's future relationship with the EU will be, will help ensure that this worry does not negatively impact the future performance of the labour market.
"The Government should build on the positive moves it has already made to dispel uncertainty by drawing up plans for a smooth transition, giving firms both the time to adapt to new regulations and the confidence to invest beyond 2019."