CIPD warns UK jobs market faces bleak year ahead in 2009

The CIPD has warned that the UK labour market faces an “annus horribilis” in 2009 after the latest unemployment figures were published yesterday.

John Philpott, chief economist at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, said the first few months of next year would see more jobs axed.

The Office for National Statistics yesterday published figures showing the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance rose to 1.07 million in November – up 75,700 from the previous month.

Philpott said: “The latest unemployment figures are bleak, and herald a return to the dark days of mass joblessness we hoped had gone forever.

“Sadly, it is now inevitable that things will become bleaker still. An annus horribilis awaits the UK jobs market in 2009.”

The number of people out of work grew to 1.86 million in the three months to October – up 137,000 from the three months to July.

The unemployment rate was 6% in the three months to October, the highest it has been since 1999.

Philpott added: “Although there is some comfort in the fact that there are still thousands of vacancies to be had, the number of jobseekers chasing each vacancy is growing by the day as unemployment heads toward at least 2.8 million in 2009.”

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