WHAT CHALLENGES DOES THE UK LABOUR MARKET FACE?

MICHAEL SAUNDERS | CITI
"Last week’s BCC survey implied that there is less labour market slack than would be expected given the surge in the jobless rate. The share of firms reporting recruitment difficulties also rose slightly. It is possible that the shift towards export-oriented manufacturing is exacerbating skill mismatches."

IAN JERMIN | MERCHANT SECURITIES
"The recovery in demand for staff during 2010 has been stronger than expected. But there is little correlation between GDP growth and demand for staff. More important is the general level of confidence, both corporate and consumer, and this has been deteriorating over recent months."

HOWARD ARCHER | IHS GLOBAL INSIGHT
"There are likely to be significant job losses in private firms supplying services or goods to the public sector. Many will try to meet any increase in business through greater use of existing workers or use of part-time staff. They are likely to be reluctant to take on any more permanent staff unless they are convinced of a sustained improvement."