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It's no longer just big export companies that are recruiting more staff

Business recovery is spreading and that’s good news for workers.

SMALL COMPANIES OPERATING outside the export industries are starting to enjoy the benefits of economic recovery – and that positive sentiment means more jobs for workers.

Nearly 9 out of 10 businesses across the island of Ireland are either stable or growing, according to the latest InterTradeIreland survey.

The results, based on enterprises’ positions from between July and September this year, were among the most positive since 2008 and the cross-border agency said the figures showed companies of all sizes and sectors were recovering.

Some 45% of enterprises reported they were in growth mode for the period, up from 26% for the same time last year.

The latest survey, which is based on interviews with over 750 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across Northern Ireland and the Republic, found 12% of all businesses had boosted their workforce, while 7% said they had cut jobs.

The employment upturn was most marked for larger enterprises with one-third of all businesses with more than 10 workers reporting they had increased staff.

Employment InterTradeIreland InterTradeIreland

Domestic dealers are doing better now

InterTradeIreland strategy and policy director Aidan Gough said exporters and big companies had so far been driving economic recovery, but businesses that relied on domestic demand were also starting to see improvements in their trade.

“The increase in growth in (the last three months) reflects a continuing broad-based recovery, which has now has translated across every sector surveyed,” he said.

The growth is also filtering down to smaller firms, most of whom now have a more positive outlook.”

However, he said businesses were still wary of investing too much more in their operations because of international uncertainty and the weak eurozone.

The latest results come after a more pessimistic set of numbers in the previous survey, which found SMEs in the North were particularly downbeat.

READ: About 138 SMEs a day are asking the Bank of Ireland for loans >

READ: Is Ireland really ‘the best small country in the world in which to do business’? >

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