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'Two speed' job market builds tension

Date 14 Sep 2007
Author bdaily.info
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The latest quarterly labour market statistics, published yesterday by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), indicate that the UK jobs market was operating at two speeds in the summer months with public sector pay and employment prospects clearly starting to lag behind those in the private sector. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review is set to underscore this trend.

Dr John Philpott, the CIPD's Chief Economist, said: "Conditions in the jobs market looked ideal in the summer months - increased vacancies, fewer redundancies, and signs that the long-term sick and ‘home grown' unemployed people are finding jobs as well as migrant workers. "Pay pressures meanwhile remained subdued, ticking up very slightly but still weaker than at the start of the year and still nowhere near the level that might ring alarm bells at the Bank of England."

The CIPD says that its surveys indicate that recent interest rate hikes have not adversely affected public sector recruitment yet, but warns that the good times may not last.

Dr Philpott said: "Even without an overall softening in the jobs market, times are already getting much tougher in the public sector. "Ministers should take care to ensure that public sector workers are given a fair deal and that a ‘two speed' jobs market does not harm staff morale or add to recruitment and retention pressures."

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