Redundancies soar by 50%

Redundancies soared by 50% in most sectors in the last quarter of 2008, new statistics have revealed.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics showed the total number of redundancies jumped by two thirds in the three months to December, from 156,000 between July and September to 263,000.

The manufacturing sector bore the brunt of cuts, doubling from 26,000 to 60,000 redundancies over the quarter. Construction, distribution and hospitality laid 49,000 workers off, up from 30,000 over the same period. The banking and insurance sector also made 52,000 employees redundant in the last quarter compared to 34,000 in the previous.

Additional figures from the Labour Market Statistics review showed the public sector was still recruiting during the three months to September 2008, with the headcount up by 14,000 from the three months prior. The private sector headcount was down by 128,000 over the same period.

Last month, public sector HR directors rejected the ‘safe’ claim as thousands of staff were cut in councils across the UK.

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