Federation of Small Businesses finds 15% of companies increased the number of people they employ in third quarter of 2013
Kent's small firms are employing more staff, according to business leaders.
Roger House, chairman, Federation of Small Businesses Kent and Medway.
The Federation of Small Businesses found that 15% of companies nationally increased the number of people they employ in the third quarter of 2013.
This is the highest figure reported since the Voice of Small Business Index began in 2010 and mirrors recent improvement in labour market figures.
It is thought the trend has been sparked by the fact all small businesses will be eligible for up to £2,000 off their National Insurance contributions from April 2014.
Business leaders in Kent say it shows "growing confidence from the UK’s small businesses".
According to FSB research, 29% of small businesses will use the savings from the ‘employment allowance’ to boost staff wages, while 28% will employ more staff and 24% invest in resources.
FSB Chairman for Kent and Medway Roger House said: "Compared with a year ago, small businesses are employing more staff and are looking to expand in the near future. This points to growing confidence from the UK's small businesses.
"FSB findings show that the employment allowance due to kick in next spring will have the desired effect.
"Through the measure, small firms are looking forward to taking on more staff, expanding their businesses and rewarding existing employees for their efforts.
"That said, the most recent unemployment figures show that long-term unemployment, particularly among young people, remains a concern."
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