· News

Two out of every five public sector organisations undergoing redundancies

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD) this week forecast that over 40% of public sector organisations are undergoing redundancies as a result of government cuts.

In its quarterly report, Labour Market Outlook, produced with KPMG and released on Monday, the professional body said that the net employment balance in the state sector had fallen to -44 during the summer quarter; down from -35 in the same period in 2009.

However, the report also suggested that growth in the private sector was compensating for these losses, with the net employment balance increasing to +39; up from +19 in summer last year.

Dr John Philpott, CIPD’s chief economic adviser, said: "Signs of not only sustained but also increasing buoyancy in private sector job prospects is encouraging, especially since some other forward looking economic and labour market indicators have been subdued of late.

"What remains to be seen is how much of this good news is merely a pre-festive season surge in private sector jobs or evidence of a sustained improvement that will continue to offset large scale public sector job cuts which, as the LMO survey shows, are already well underway and on a scale in line with the CIPD’s current forecast for total public sector job losses by 2015-16.

"With employers clearly far more cautious about the 12 month than the 3 month jobs outlook it is far too soon to conclude that the UK will avoid a rise in unemployment in 2011."

Last week saw an announcement by Southampton City Council that 250 jobs would go as part of its £62 million budget reduction over four years, the trade union GMB has said it is aware of 29.815 job losses in 21 councils across the country.

GMB’s general secretary, Paul Kenny said on Friday: "The avalanche has begun. Tens of thousands of people are already affected by job cuts, pay cuts and the dismantling of services."