CIPD: 2009 set to be worst year for employment for nearly 20 years

| December 29, 2008
”CIPD:

According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), the first quarter of 2008 could see nearly 300,000 people lose their jobs in Britain, making it the worst year for jobs since the early 1990s.

The organisation is warning that unemployment is set to rise even more over the next 12 months, taking the total out of work to 3 million in 2010.

The warning comes as several retailers continue to struggle amid the economic downturn. UK childrenswear retailer Adams is set to go into administration, while last week, it emerged that music and games retailer, Zavvi, had entered administration.

Woolworths and MFI have more or less closed their doors, while tea and coffee chain, Whittard of Chelsea, entered administration but has since been sold to EPIC private equity partners.

The CIPD’s annual Barometer Report is forecasting a net reduction in jobs of 600,000 in 2009, after 150,000 this year and a further 250,000 in 2010.

John Philpott, the CIPD’s chief economist, warns that the period between the start of 2009 and April will be the worst for redundancies since 1991, with almost 300,000 losing their jobs. The figure does not include jobs that may be created during that period.

The report comes as the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) said it believed the minimum wage should not be increased until economic conditions had improved since businesses cannot afford any more costs.

The BCC has written to the Government’s advisers at the Low Pay Commission to urge that the minimum wage is kept at current levels.

Director general David Frost said the organisation is not against the minimum wage increasing when employment is up and the economy is doing well. However, with the current situation, it does not make sense to increase it.

The minimum wage is currently £5.73 an hour for adults, £4.77 for 18-21-year-olds and £3.53 for 16-17-year-olds.

The BCC has also made predictions that unemployment could hit 3 million by 2010.

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