Small businesses across Britain are expected to open up as many as 1.9 million new job vacancies by the end of the year, according to a new report from Direct Line for Business (DL4B).
These new roles will potentially add up to £27 billion to the UK economy in new small business wages.
The study, conducted by Consumer Intelligence, which surveyed a sample of 401 UK start-ups with up to 10 employees, also found more than 400,000 home-based businesses were planning on hiring their first employee in 2014.
According to the report, new employees hired by small firms this year will be expected to work an average of 28 hours a week, while start-ups planning to hire their first employee are looking for someone to work an average of 21 hours a week.
Average wages for new employees working for small and micro businesses came to £14,405 per annum, while self-employed firms employing a staff member for the first time expect to start them on £10,795 per annum.
DL4B also compared regional SME recruitment plans and found firms in the London area to be the “most proactive” with more than two-fifths (41 per cent) of start-ups anticipating hiring new staff this year.
South West and North West England were ranked second and third in times of recruitment drives, with 35 per cent and 31 per cent respectively planning to take on more employees in 2014.
The report also compared genders and found female UK SME owners were more hopeful of recruiting new staff this year in comparison with their male counterparts. 33 per cent of women were hoping to expand their workforce in 2014 compared to 26 per cent of male business owners.
Jasvinder Gakhal, head of DL4B, said: “Small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy, employing millions of people, and our research shows that they are set to contribute significantly this year.
“With positive signs of economic growth, many businesses will want to take advantage by expanding – often by increasing headcount.”
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