Jobs market "still on the ropes"

JOB losses are set to surge as the axe swings in the public sector, an employers’ survey has found.

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development said the jobs market was still “on the ropes” with one in six employers planning redundancies in the first three months of the year.

The employers said they planned to cut 6.2 per cent of their workforce, compared with 3.8 per cent in the previous quarter.

Chief economic adviser at the CIPD John Philpott said the relatively robust jobs market of recent months was “a mere pause for breath” and warned that there were “more testing rounds ahead”.

“With many private sector companies looking to move jobs abroad in an attempt to find the right balance between skills, quality and cost reduction, the jobs market needs all the continued support and protection it is getting from the Government.”

One in ten firms are planning to outsource to India or Eastern Europe, according to the report.

Unemployment currently stands at 2.46m.

Alan Downey, head of public sector at KPMG which carried out the research, said: “It is now only a matter of time before we are faced with the deepest and most prolonged cuts in public expenditure that anyone can remember.

“Many public sector bodies have already started to feel the pain and are drawing up clear and radical plans to reduce costs.”