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Latest economic figures point to a depression and "jobs light, pay tight" recovery, says CIPD

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The recession is beginning to look more like a depression according to the CIPD.

Findings from the Office for National Statistics show the economy contracted 0.4% in the three months to September 2009, meaning the recession has not yet ended.

The CIPD believes unemployment will continue to rise into 2010 leading to a "jobs light, pay tight recovery". The industry body reports there are already 600,000 fewer people in work than at the start of the recession, 3.3 million fewer hours being worked each week, 1 in 3 employers operating pay freezes for staff and 1 in 10 having already cut staff pay.

John Philpott, chief economist at the CIPD, said today's news was "desperately disappointing". It makes the recession look more like a depression, he added, and demolishes any prospect of an early improvement in the outlook for jobs and pay.

He said: "The UK economy is continuing to shrink, with six quarters of contraction in output making this recession look more like a depression. This is desperately disappointing news, especially given that it was hoped that a modest recovery had begun. This situation was never going to improve overnight and today's news of a continued slide in the economy pushes any labour market recovery further into the distance.

"For most UK workers the pain of recession goes on and the subsequent ‘jobs light, pay tight' recovery won't feel much better."