By Claire West

Commenting on the latest labour market statistics, Graeme Leach, Chief Economist at the Institute of Directors Chief, said:

“The latest labour market statistics are a concern, despite the 286,000 surge in employment. Claimant unemployment is up and vacancies are down to their lowest level this year and all of this is before the public sector shake-out has really begun. Public sector employment has only fallen by 18,000 over the past year. The risk now is that private sector employment growth will slow and be insufficient to offset the crunching job losses expected in the public sector.

“Two things look certain over the next 6-9 months. First, a softer labour market will put downward pressure on earnings growth. Second, industrial unrest in the public sector will multiply. At worst we could be facing a winter of discontent. At best a feel bad recovery.”