The jobs market in 2011
The weak labour market figures we saw in December may be the precursor to more bad news in the early months of 2011, according to the latest Jobs Outlook report from the Recruitment and Employment Confederation. Employers are, on balance, fairly positive about the outlook, with 23 per cent saying they will recruit permanent staff and 32 per cent expecting to increase their temporary workforce; only 5 per cent say they are going to cut their employment.
But, the Confederation adds, “optimism for the jobs market must be tempered by the impact of public sector cuts.” 40 per cent of public sector employers expect a “direct impact” on public sector employment and the REC forecasts that unemployment will rise to 2.65 million by the middle of next year:
The increasing employer confidence will lead to more opportunities in the private sector but this will not be strong enough to compensate in the short term.
Nearly every forecasting organisation expects unemployment to rise in the first half of 2011 and this increase – a bit under 200,000 – is comparatively modest. Beyond next Summer things are much harder to predict; the REC is “cautiously optimistic” about a “marked upturn” in the second half of the year, but the truth is that no-one knows for certain.