The latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) reveals that UK employers have become more pessimistic about employment prospects.
Although the immediate jobs outlook remains bright, almost half of UK employers expect to employ fewer people this time next year.
Of the 1,300 organisations spoken to, 40% say they will be stepping up recruitment in the next quarter. However, in the mid-to long term the picture is gloomier with 45% predicting a fall in employee numbers in the next twelve months. Only 22% expect to be employing more workers by Spring 2006.
The reduction in staff numbers is particularly marked in the public sector, where recruitment has been relatively buoyant in recent years.
John Philpott, the CIPD’s Chief Economist comments, “Given the recent spate of job cut announcements and the pre-election emphasis on cutting public sector waste, it is perhaps not surprising that recruitment confidence has dropped.
“But with the labour-intensive, consumer services sector experiencing tougher times, and with public sector employers looking to make efficiency savings, the survey might be signalling more than an end of the jobs boom.”
The survey also reveals that short-term jobs market pressures remain, with UK organisations actively recruiting from all corners of the globe to fill skills shortages.
More than a quarter of UK organisations plan to recruit migrant workers, with one in three public sector organisations intending to do so.
UK organisations are recruiting migrant workers for their skills and experience and not for cost-cutting reasons.
Employers appear particularly keen to recruit from the new EU accession countries, with around one in five UK organisations planning to do so.
Meanwhile, as many as 14% of employers plan to recruit from outside the European Union and Commonwealth