More firms are expecting to cut jobs in the next few months, heralding a likely increase in unemployment, according to a report out today.
One in four predict a cut in jobs, rising to one in three public sector organisations, a survey of 1,000 employers showed.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said its research, published ahead of new unemployment figures later today, also revealed that one in three believed they would have more staff in a year's time.
Chief economist Dr John Philpott said: "Rising employer confidence is unlikely to be enough to prevent further rises in unemployment. Despite growing expectations of overall increases in staffing levels, over a quarter of employers expect redundancies in the next quarter. Recruitment intentions are also only improving gradually.
"Part of the explanation lies in an apparent hoarding of labour during last year's slight dip in the economy by employers mindful of the difficulties in recruiting in the UK's persistently tight labour market."