Employers in the North West plan to recruit at levels not seen for 11 years, according to ManpowerGroup, the workforce experts.
The year-end hiring outlook of plus nine per cent has not been bettered since 2007, and is significantly above the national average of plus four per cent.
The ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey is based on responses from 2,100 UK employers.
It asks whether employers intend to hire additional workers or reduce the size of their workforce in the coming quarter.
It is the most comprehensive, forward-looking employment survey of its kind and is used as a key economic indicator by both the Bank of England and the UK Government.
Jason Greaves, Director at ManpowerGroup, comments: “Employers in the North West report the strongest hiring intentions since 2007, with particular demand for manufacturing, logistics, sales and contact centre staff.
"This is great news for anyone who is looking for a new job or thinking about a career change. However it means that organisations will need to compete, if they want to secure the in-demand talent.
“Securing the best talent has always been a challenge for employers. In response, we’re starting to see organisations think more strategically about how they position themselves as an employer of choice. They’re reviewing how the salaries they offer compare to other employers in the local area.
"And they’re looking more closely at the availability of candidates, so they can understand which skills are in short supply, and which are abundant. Strategies like this will help employers to attract and retain the talent their business needs to thrive.”
In the other regions, East Midlands employers are optimistic at +11 per cent, bouncing back from the slump last quarter to see a six-point increase - rounding out the most confident year for the region since 2015. Confidence in the South West remains cautiously optimistic at + nine per cent.
This contrasts with the East of England which sees a modest increase to + three per cent, the lowest in the country. Employers in London and the North East have equally conservative hiring intentions, with an Outlook of + four per cent, while South East and West Midlands employers both report Outlooks of + seven per cent.
Employers in the Utilities sectors are amongst the most optimistic this quarter with an Outlook of +12 per cent - with an increase in Smart meters and construction of new energy infrastructure adding to this optimism.
Agriculture employers (+14 per cent) are the most likely to add to headcount in the three months to Christmas. Finance & Business Services employers (+5 per cent) will increase staffing slightly in the last quarter of the year.
And employers in the Hotels & Retail sector will also keep hiring with an Outlook of +5 per cent - the leisure sector of Hotels & Restaurants being particularly positive at +11 per cent.