By Claire West

Infogroup , the leading provider of data driven and interactive resources for targeted sales, marketing and research solutions today announced results from a new ORC International survey revealing nearly three quarters (73%) of public sector organizations believe economic conditions are set to worsen, while just over half (52%) of private companies think conditions are leveling out.

ORC International’s latest HR Reflections survey shows public sector HR managers in particular are expecting more economic gloom, with 30% saying they plan on cutting back operations this year and 32% concentrating on stability. In contrast, 63% of private sector companies are now focusing on growth.

The survey charts the views of nearly 300 HR managers, internal communications consultants and employee engagement specialists from a variety of public, private and voluntary organisations. Questions covered a range of business issues, including the current economic climate and their predictions for 2010 and beyond.

The results also showed a high degree of negativity about the new government, with two thirds (66%) of public sector organisations saying they think they will be worse off under the Con-Lib coalition. This lack of confidence is also reflected in the number of public sector organisations expecting to make redundancies before the year is out. Around a fifth of organisations are planning substantial redundancies in the public sector, compared to just 5% of private sector organisations.

These results show a very different picture than was revealed in the first HR Reflections survey carried out in December 2009, when the figures were almost reversed: 18% of private sector organisations had to let a large number of people go, compared to just 4% of public sector organisations.

“Our latest Reflections survey provides further evidence that the worst effects of the recession may be coming to an end for the private sector,” said Matt Roddan, Research Director of Employee Research. “There is a strong focus on growth, confidence that few redundancies will be necessary and over half feel the worst of the recession has passed. The public sector is certainly bearing the most economic hardship currently. Only about one in ten survey respondents from the public sector said they felt positive about what the rest of 2010 will bring.”