LONDON: British employers are turning more confident about the economy as the country gets over the disruption caused by the Omicron wave of coronavirus infections, a survey showed on Wednesday.

The Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said confidence in the economy rose 6 points to a net level of -5 in the three months to January and stood at +1 in January alone.

"This suggests more positive expectations for the economy in 2022, despite the threat of rising inflation and labour shortages," REC said.

Hiring intentions in the short term increased by 4 points to +24, although demand was stronger for temporary than for permanent workers, in a sign that firms remained cautious.

Neil Carberry, the REC's chief executive, said businesses should make an effort to attract candidates from a wider variety of backgrounds.

"Hybrid and remote working will be one part of that - we know that more workers are demanding it," Carberry said. "But other benefits, conditions and development opportunities are also vital parts of a successful people strategy."

The Bank of England has expressed concern about the shortage of candidates available to fill record-high levels of vacancies which it fears could generate longer-term inflation pressure.

REC's survey of 600 employers was conducted between Nov. 5 and Jan. 26, before British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced this week that all coronavirus restrictions would be scrapped.

(Writing by William Schomberg; editing by David Milliken) ((; +44 207 542 7778; Reuters Messaging: