Firms waiting for upturn to recruit
A survey of 600 firms by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation also discovered continuing problems hiring suitably-qualified workers because of the UK's skills "dislocation".
A "marked dip" on short-term job prospects was revealed in the study, although a significant number of businesses planned to increase or maintain staffing levels in the short and medium term.
Roger Tweedy, the confederation's director of research, said: "Last November's figures showed that many employers were hoping to slightly increase their permanent workforces early in the new year.
© 2012 Press Association