The outlook for jobs remains “firmly positive”, with firms the most optimistic for five years, a study has shown.

Employment specialist Manpower said West Midlands employers were planning to recruit staff in the coming months rather than lay workers off.

“As employers in the region start future-planning, off the back of increased profitability, they are beginning to increase headcount in order to drive their businesses forward. In particular, this is resulting in more support and sales roles as recruiters gear up for growth,” said Krissie Davies, operations director at Manpower.

“While candidates are becoming more confident, there is still some uncertainty in the region. We encourage anyone looking for work to consider temporary positions, as this may lead to a permanent role and provides valuable experience.”

Mark Cahill, Manpower managing director, added: “For workers with in-demand skills in key sectors, businesses are hiring. It’s vital to stress that these are not just the temporary, part-time positions people typically associate with a tough economic climate – we’ve had a number of companies instructing us to look for highly skilled permanent staff.

“A good example of this is the West Midlands engineering firm Babcock which has appointed us to recruit a very significant number of skilled workers to support their continued growth.”

Mr Cahill said 2013 was turning into a “solidly optimistic” year after two years of recruitment “bumping along the bottom”.

The report was published ahead of tomorrow’s latest unemployment figures.