Jobs market faces grim 2011

imageThe next 12 months could see Britain’s employment prospects dip even lower than they did in 2010.

Up to 200,000 jobs could be shed in 2011 as unemployment rises to nine per cent, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has warned.

Its annual employment barometer forecasts public sector job losses will total 120,000, with private sector employment falling by 80,000.

More optimistic scenarios are plausible, especially if the Office for Budget Responsibility’s current central economic forecasts are achieved.

Even a slight slip from its predictions would leave the UK economy in dire straits, however.

“Things only have to turn out a bit worse than expected in the wider economy for the jobs situation to weaken,” the CIPD’s chief economic adviser John Philpott commented.

“This doesn’t mean that we are facing a return to the dire recession days of late 2008 and 2009, but nonetheless 2011 will probably feel like another year in the economic doldrums, rather than the start of a return to prosperity.”

Part-time and temporary jobs are set to be in the majority even if 2011 turns out to be a ‘jobs-light’ rather than a ‘jobs-loss’ or ‘jobs-standstill’ year.

Dr Philpott added: “Add in the possibility of employment disputes and social discontent arising from the fiscal squeeze and public sector job cuts, and it’s not hard to conclude that 2011 could prove to be a troubled year all round.”

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