Monday, November 11, 2013

Economic Forecast - The Future is Bleak

Stronger economic growth in the UK over the next few years will not be accompanied by a big rise in employment, a survey has suggested. Instead, companies are looking for improved productivity from existing staff, the CIPD said. Fewer than one in five firms are planning to significantly raise staffing levels should growth pick up. Just 17% were planning to increase their headcount by more than 2% over the medium term, even with a period of stable economic growth.

"Our data on medium-term recruitment intentions suggest that stronger economic growth in the next few years will not be accompanied by big rises in employment," said Gerwyn Davies, labour market advisor at the CIPD. "Instead, many employers tell us they are focused on the need to raise productivity. The prospects of better economic conditions might therefore persuade them to invest more in the business and make more intensive use of existing staff, for example, by increasing working hours."

Meanwhile,  Revenue and Customs  is targeting 200 employers who recently advertised internships to ensure they are paying the minimum wage. The agency, which is responsible for enforcing the national minimum wage, is sending out letters to the companies, and will carry out "targeted checks". There is concern some employers are using unpaid interns as cheap labour. The TUC has previously estimated that up to 250,000 workers are not being paid the minimum wage. The Unite union suggests that more than a third of the top 50 charities in the UK hire unpaid interns.

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