Page last updated at 09:47 GMT, Monday, 9 November 2009

Jobs market decline 'set to slow'

Job centre in Glasgow
There are 2.47 million people currently unemployed in the UK

The number of UK firms planning to make staff redundant has fallen, a report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development suggests.

However, reduced labour demand and lower hiring levels show there is no sign that the labour market is anywhere close to returning to proper health.

The CIPD report also said the job outlook in manufacturing was set to deteriorate "markedly".

Latest figures showed there are 2.47 million people out of work in the UK.

'Fragile recovery'

CIPD surveyed more than 700 employers, covering all sectors of the economy, for the latest edition of its Labour Market Outlook (LMO).

The LMO identified reduced working hours and lower-than-average pay rises as further indication of weak overall demand for labour.

About one in six organisations have asked staff to work shorter hours during the past year and a similar proportion say they will be doing the same in the next 12 months.

Although the report suggests the jobs market is in nowhere near as serious a state as it was earlier in the year, the situation remains unstable.

"The patient remains seriously weak, won't recover for several years even if a return to robust economic growth provides the necessary tonic and could easily relapse if the recovery is as fragile and anaemic as many economists fear, " says Gerwyn Davies, CIPD public policy adviser.

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