Hiring plans at highest level since 1998

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Hiring intentions have reached their highest level since 1998, according to the latest Business Trends report by accountants and business advisers BDO LLP in Yorkshire.

The BDO Employment Index, which predicts companies’ hiring plans in three months’ time, rose from 108.8 in June to 109.6 in July, indicating that job creation will continue to accelerate for the remainder of the year.

A significant uptick in hiring intentions among services firms in particular has driven July’s gains, suggesting that graduates from the class of 2014, many of whom will be looking to start their careers this summer, face the most encouraging job prospects of any graduation class since the onset of the financial crisis.

The buoyant services sector also positively influenced the BDO Output Index, which predicts companies’ performance three months ahead. Economy-wide output rose from 103.6 in June to 103.7 in July, mirroring the 0.1 rise reported by the Output Sub-Index for the dominant services sector, which accounts for over two-thirds of the economy.

The BDO Optimism Index, which predicts businesses’ expectations over a six-month horizon, rose from 104.8 in June to 105.1 in July.