Massive job losses in the public sector are cancelling out recruitment by private firms, a new report says.
There is now a 'sharp contrast' between job prospects in the sectors, according to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), with manufacturing set to see growth in employment.
The number of public organisations proposing to make redundancies is at its highest level since the survey began in 2004, according to the report. More than half of all public sector bodies have predicted job cuts in the three months to June, compared with a third of private companies.
CIPD policy adviser, Gerwyn Davies, said: "The jobs market appears to be taking baby steps on the long path to pre-recession levels. There are many sectors, such as manufacturing, that are taking large strides forward, but consumer-facing industries are simply edging forwards due to a fear of another consumer slowdown. Together with the onset of public sector cutbacks, the risk of an employment slowdown appears finely balanced."
Malcolm Edge, of KPMG, said: "Many businesses are very nervous about the rest of 2011. The recent VAT increase, low consumer confidence and falling disposable incomes have left businesses feeling the strain, and there's added pressure from mounting fuel and utility costs."