CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook survey finds two in five employers plan to make redundancies this quarter

A sharp rise in expected redundancies will hit the UK jobs market hard, a survey has revealed.

The winter CIPD/KPMG Labour Market Outlook survey, shows that almost two in five (38%) companies intend to make some employees redundant this quarter – a sharp increase on the autumn 2007 Labour Market Outlook survey figure of 17%.

This is the highest quarterly figure for redundancy intentions since the Labour Market Outlook survey began in 2004. The average quarterly figure for redundancy intentions is 21%.

One in four employers expecting to make redundancies this quarter report that at least 10 staff will lose their jobs. Thirty seven per cent expect to make fewer than 10 people redundant, with the remainder uncertain of the numbers likely to be involved.

Redundancy intentions are strongest in the public services where almost half (48%) of employers surveyed expected to make at least some staff redundant this quarter.

Andrew Smith, chief economist at consultancy KPMG, said: “The survey reflects the general uncertainty about the economic outlook. The number of companies expecting to make redundancies has jumped – but the majority still expect to employ the same or a higher number of staff in 12 months time.”

CIPD chief economist John Philpott said: “[The survey] does suggest that the UK is entering a period of slower employment growth and somewhat greater job insecurity than in recent years.”

Other findings

  • More than half (54%) of employers surveyed anticipate recruitment difficulties this winter, up from just below half (49%) in the autumn.
  • Almost one in five respondents planned to conduct a pay review in the winter quarter. Of those:
  • Three in 10 respondents expected the pay of their staff to increase on average by between 3% and less than 3.5%.
  • One in five expected increases of 4% or more. The median expected increase is 3% in all but the public services where the figure is lower (2%).

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