U.K. bracing for sharp increase in layoffs

Majority of public sector organizations planning staffing cuts: Survey

Layoffs will increase substantially this year in the United Kingdom as the majority of public sector organizations are planning t cut the size of their workforce, according to a survey.

Overall, about one-third of employers plan to employ fewer people in 2011 than in 2010, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

While private sector job creation is on the rise, it won't offset the number of job losses in the public sector this quarter, according to the CIPD's latest Labour Market Outlook, which surveyed 750 employers.

“The first quarter of 2011 was always going to be a quarter of reckoning for the jobs market, and it seems that last year’s modest recovery will be reversed by a modest relapse this year,” said Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD. “Encouragingly, the private sector continues to generate new jobs, but we are some way off the jobs boom that we are all hoping for.”

The net employment index, which measures the difference between the proportion of employers planning to increase and reduce staffing levels, has fallen to -3 from +11 in the previous three months.

The manufacturing sector (+20) and private sector services (+20) were the most likely to add staff in the first quarter of 2011, found the survey.

On the other end of the spectrum, public sector organizations reported an employment index of -66, with 77 per cent of local government employers planning to cut staff in the first three months of 2011.

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