A third of companies in the UK are planning to take on new staff over the next few months, according to new figures.
A survey of 1,100 organisations by recruitment firm Reed showed big regional variations, with demand for staff projected to be highest in the North West, followed by the North East, the Home Counties and the Midlands.
Demand for staff will remain flat in the Thames Valley compared with the last few months, Reed says, while growth in London is projected to be modest.
But the survey also suggested that almost one in five charities are planning to make redundancies.
James Reed, chief executive of Reed, said: "Without doubt, the North is leading growth in recruitment. While areas like London are recovering slowly, demand for extra staff has increased by more than 10 percent within a single quarter in the North West.
"Across the country there are fewer redundancies in sectors such as manufacturing and IT, and if you work in sales, administration and catering, demand for your skills is high."