As the economic recovery becomes more soundly based, businesses are increasingly optimistic. For the first time since the financial crash for 2008 the perception of the UK as a competitive place to create jobs is positive with firms seeing the UK as a place to invest and grow their business.
The story of the recovery so far has been one of employment growth but limited wage rises, both of which have ben reflected in previous editions of this survey. Last year, we saw a thaw coming in the pay freezes and low rises that have dominated since 2009, and that has been borne out this year - with those remaining in regular work through the year seeing a return to inflation-matching and above-inflation rises. Overall wage inflation remains low, however, as we still have almost two million people unemployed - and those with more broken employment histories are still seeing low or no rises.