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Gloomy Year For Jobs Forecasts CIPD

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Next year is set to be the worst year for jobs in a decade, according to professional body the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD).

The report forecasts a net rise in total UK employment of 75,000 for 2008 a figure that is a third of the rise recorded in 2006 and 2007. Commenting, John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD puts the depressing outlook down to a combination of much reduced net hiring in the private sector and net job reductions in the public sector

"2008 will be the first year for a decade that the engine of job creation will be spluttering right across the economy. With higher fuel costs and food prices set to raise the cost of living in the first half of the year the squeeze on real incomes experienced by many workers in 2007 will continue to bite in 2008. With jobs also harder to come by this could reinforce the impact of the economic slowdown, possibly necessitating bigger cuts in interest rates than currently anticipated to head off the threat of recession and a worrying prolongation of the slowdown into 2009."

In a warning to HR, Philpott said large scale redundancies are likely: "Many HR professionals will be dusting off redundancy manuals in the coming months to re-discover best practice on trimming staffing levels. But unlike previous bouts of large scale job shedding in the early 1980s and early 1990s, which tended to fall relatively heavily on older staff, redundancy practice in 2008 will have to take care not to fall foul of recently introduced age discrimination legislation."

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