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Unemployment 'to hit 2.7m in 2011'

Monday January 3rd 2011

The number of people in the UK officially without work will rise to 2.7 million by the end of next year, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.

Average wage packets will slightly increase by 2% during 2011, which is still below the rate of inflation, and the proportion of unemployed will hit 9% in 2011, with 120,000 public sector workers and 80,000 private sector workers losing their job, it added.

John Philpott, the institute's chief economic adviser, said 2011 will be a "fingers-crossed" year for the economy and jobs.

He said: "If all goes well and the unexpectedly strong progress made in 2010 is sustained, the jobs market will be able to cope with the impact of the coalition Government's spending cuts and tax increases without any significant rise in unemployment.

"However, things only have to turn out a bit worse than expected in the wider economy for the jobs situation to weaken, which remains the CIPD's central forecast. Either way, this doesn't mean that we are facing a return to the dire recession days of late 2008 and 2009 but nonetheless 2011 will probably feel like another year in the economic doldrums, rather than the start of a return to prosperity.

"Even if 2011 turns out to be a jobs-light rather than jobs-loss or jobs-standstill year, the chances are that the bulk of any new private sector jobs will continue to reflect the experience of 2010, with part-time and temporary jobs in the majority."

Copyright © Press Association 2010

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