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Job crunch Britain: how have you been affected?

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Net job creation in the UK has almost stopped as employers feel pessimistic about prospects for the economy, the latest quarterly Labour Market Outlook survey by KPMG and the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) has found.

The balance between the proportion of employers looking to increase staff levels over the next three months and those expecting to cut has fallen from +41 in autumn 2007 to +2 in autumn 2008 – the lowest figure recorded since the survey began in spring 2004, according to the Payroll and Human Resources Newsletter.

Of the 721 employers surveyed, 83 per cent anticipated that Britain’s economic condition would further deteriorate this autumn and only one percent said they thought there would be an improvement.Respondents felt more optimistic about their own organisation though, with only 25 per cent believing that things would get worse.

Even though inflation is running at a 16-year high of 5.2 percent, staff pay excluding bonuses is seen increasing on average by just 3.5 per cent when the next pay review is due, while the expected average increase including bonuses has risen from 3.9 per cent to 4 per cent.

With official UK unemployment data for October due out on Wednesday, CIPD Chief Economist John Philpott sees a gloomy winter ahead:  “With pay increases at best modest for those still in work, the harsh chill of recession will make this the toughest winter for UK households for almost two decades.”

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