The number of Irish businesses expected to recruit extra workers in the coming months is growing, new surveys show.
The Regus fifth global Business Tracker report indicates Irish optimism has risen by nearly a third (31pc) over the last six months.
Ireland has seen business confidence rise a full 24 points since April to stand at 101, which places it above Britain (89) and the US (90) but behind the global average of 114.
"As an indicator of the changing structure of Ireland's employment market, 49pc of firms intend to hire more freelance staff in 2011/12 and 38pc will employ more remote workers. This is a clear signal that firms are seeking to invest in flexible strategies that drive growth," the report states.
Meanwhile, the Small Firms Association (SFA) Q3 2011 Jobs Sentiment Survey found that 20pc of firms expect to recruit permanent staff in the next three months.
In addition, 58pc expect employee numbers to remain at current levels and 26pc of firms will increase employee numbers in 2012.
However, the survey found that in the next three months, one in 10 companies expects to introduce short-term working arrangements.
Only 3pc expect to implement compulsory redundancies before year end, a decrease of 10pc on this time two years ago.