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Councils' jobs outlook 'depressing'

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The jobs picture in local government looks “particularly depressing”, a new survey has warned.

The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development’s latest Labour Market Outlook shows that while the private sector is becoming more confident about the employment situation, the public sector is becoming increasingly pessimistic.

It says: “Signs of improved employer optimism in the private sector are offset by mounting pessimism in the public sector.”

Across the public sector, the survey of hiring intentions shows that the balance between the proportion of employers expecting to employ more and fewer staff over the next three months is minus 28%.

The figure represents a sharp deterioration on the last quarterly survey when just 3% of employers were expecting to fire rather than hire over the next three months.

The report, which is carried out with KPMG, says this finding suggests that “anticipation of cuts in public spending after the elections is already having a significant impact on behaviour”.

The jobs outlook looks particularly depressing in local government and higher education,” it adds.

In public administration, 52% more employers are expecting to shed more staff than they take on during the next quarter.

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