A hi-tech manufacturing boom could create additional demand for PAYE umbrella company contractors in 2011, it has been suggested.

According to research conducted by General Electric, 71 per cent of such companies are confident their performance will improve over the next 12 months, reports the Independent.

This is despite a quarter of those interviewed having already posted double-digit growth in 2010 – meaning some firms could be set for a bumper year.

The study revealed that 48 per cent of hi-tech respondents are planning on increasing their headcounts over the next 12 months.

According to General Electric, the average firm will increase staff numbers by 5.7 per cent, meaning new freelancer roles could potentially be created.

Mark Elborne, chief executive of GE in the UK, said hi-tech manufacturers were “much more confident” than many other businesses.

He told the news provider: “[Our research] shows a vibrant and positive sector that can help revitalise the UK economy over the next few years.”

The latest Report on Jobs, from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, pointed to an increase in temporary job appointments during December 2010.

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