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For jobs sake, government must get to work

For jobs sake, government must get to work

With the latest official unemployment figures due to be released later this morning, the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) calls for a resolution of the post-General Election political situation to be followed by an immediate statement on the broad outline of economic and employment policy.

The CIPDs Chief Economic Adviser, Dr John Philpott comments as follows: The UK jobs market remains fragile with tentative signs of increased hiring by private sector employers offset by mounting pessimism in the public sector, and employers in general still very uncertain about the strength of the economic recovery.

While the post-General Election political uncertainty is of evident concern to the financial markets, life goes on much as usual in the real economy of business and commerce. But employers are looking for a lasting political settlement and, in particular, clarity on the shape of economic and employment policy that will help inform decisions about staffing levels. Without this, hopes for any marked improvement in job prospects later this year will be dashed.

As a non-partisan professional body, the CIPD has no view on the party political make-up of the next government but does stress the need for policy clarity given that the Election manifestos of the three main UK parties may not now provide a usable guide to the mix of policies that will actually be implemented. Although we would not expect the full detail of economic and employment policy to emerge before a formal Budget statement, whoever forms the next government should publish an immediate outline policy statement with particular reference to the timing of deficit reduction measures, plans for any change to employers National Insurance contributions, and the scope of welfare to work policy.

Everyone acknowledges the severity of the UKs fiscal crisis, but the jobs market challenge is equally serious. For jobs sake, the government must get to work without delay.

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