EMPLOYERS in Yorkshire are the least likely to hire staff in the new year, says a survey.
Figures from recruitment agency Manpower showed that just 8% of bosses polled in the region expect to take on more staff in the first quarter of 2007.
That compares with 4% forecasting job cuts.
The survey showed that 29% of bosses in north-east England expected to recruit staff compared with 6% predicting cuts.
Manpower said the north-east figures reflected the impact of investment in places such as Newcastle and Middlesbrough.
Nationally, the survey of more than 1,700 employers showed that 18% planned to take on more staff against 6% expecting to axe jobs.
The north-east and Scotland were the most optimistic regions followed by Northern Ireland, the south-east and the south-west.
Yorkshire was the least confident of creating jobs.
The sectors most likely to generate new jobs in early 2007 were finance and business services, mining, energy and construction.