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Pace of UK job prospects marginally improves

The pace of decline in UK job prospects has started to slow this autumn due to very modest improvements in planned recruitment activity and a slight decrease in employers’ redundancy intentions.

According to the CIPD and the latest quarterly Adecco Group Labour Market Outlook survey, the proportion of employers who expect to increase staff levels and those who expect to decrease staff levels, has risen to “–1 from a record low of –8” in the last quarter.

The survey which involved more than 1000 employers, was conducted in late September, ahead of the latest lockdown restrictions and reinstatement of the furlough scheme.

Recruitment intentions, while lagging well below pre-pandemic levels, have edged up for the second consecutive quarter.

The report suggested that more than half (53%) of employers have planned to recruit in the three months to December 2020, increasing 4% from summer (49%).

In the private sector, recruitment intentions have improved from 44% to 49% since the last quarter.

The survey also found that three in ten (30%) employers plan to make redundancies this quarter, a marginal shift from 33% recorded in the summer.

Despite the fall, there continues to be a reportedly large amount of uncertainty around redundancy intentions, with almost one in five employers (17%) reporting that they couldn’t say whether they would be making redundancies in the next three months.

Gerwyn Davies, senior labour market adviser for the CIPD said: “When it comes to the immediate jobs outlook, the best that can be said is that the situation is getting worse more slowly.

“Employment looks set to keep falling and the relatively weak demand for labour means that it is going to be a long and hard winter, affecting young jobseekers in particular. To help minimise the jobs fallout as restrictions continue, the Government should expand its training and employability support.”

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