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Industry group says service sector growing and employing more staff

The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) says businesses in the service sector, which include law firms, are growing again and that data shows they are taking on new staff, reports the BBC.

Businesses in the service industries are reporting that the economic outlook is more positive now than at any time recently, with the Confederation of British Industry reporting that the sector is now employing more new staff than before.

The service sector includes consumer service businesses such as hotels, bars and restaurants, which report levels of business comfortably above normal expectations, a sign of a growing economy.

The sector also includes professional service businesses, which includes law firms, accountancy practices and marketing and advertising businesses, and they too are reporting a rise in business levels for the first time since the 2007/8 credit crisis.

Katja Hall is the CBI's deputy director general.

"With a full year of growth under their belts, service sector firms are more upbeat than they have been for a long time," she told the BBC.

The news that these businesses are growing is positive for the rest of economy, as the service sector is one of the largest in the UK and the increase in output will have a knock-on effect in employment.

However, the BBC reports that the news is not all good, as many firms still struggle to find the right mix of skills and experience in the domestic market, meaning an increasing need to look to the global recruitment marketplace to find the right staff at the right price.

"A rising number of firms, particularly in business and professional services are having problems finding the right staff. This survey identifies a skills gap as a growing constraint on business expansion in the sector over the year ahead," Hall added.