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More redundancies predicted

Businesses could be reducing headcount rather than increasing it in the run up to Christmas.

According to recruitment firm Manpower, employers are at their least confident about hiring staff since the first quarter of 1999 with 82% keeping staffing levels the same as they assess how the economic downturn will affect their business.
In the North East of England, less than two thirds (65%) of employers intend to keep staff levels the same and 16% plan to reduce staff numbers.
Mark Cahill, managing director of Manpower UK, said: "Employers are focussing on training and improving workforce productivity. Even as we see redundancies in the labour market, the majority of employers want to avoid reducing their workforce. This should allow them to benefit from any pick-up in the economy.
"It is not clear how long the current business climate will last. In the current conditions, it is not surprising that many businesses are not predicting any increase in hiring and are using temporary and contract workers to meet short term demands."