The survey of 684 businesses also found that despite rising living costs, the majority of respondents (52%) said that wage pressure from employees wasn’t an issue, whereas 30% said it was a concern to some extent and 17% said it was a major concern.
Kevin Wall, Co-Head of Corporate Banking Origination, Barclays, said: “After an extended period of wage freezes, which have been tough for employees, it’s good to see that so many employers will be increasing wages in the coming year. This can only have a positive impact on employee morale. However, it will increase inflationary pressure and as the year progresses.”
Prior to last week’s falling unemployment announcement, only 14% of survey respondents thought that unemployment levels would fall sufficiently to trigger an interest rate rise this year. Almost a third (32%) thought it would be in 2015 and 44% of the largest companies surveyed thought it would be 2016 or later.
A key focus for government – apprenticeships - also seems to be getting traction, as employment of apprentices is on the rise, with 29% of businesses claiming they took them on in 2013 and the same amount planning to take them on in 2014. This is an increase from last year’s survey, when 22% had taken them on in 2012, and 27% were planning to take them on in 2013.