New year will bring longer hours, continued squeeze on pay, fewer new posts and more job insecurity, warns economist
Workers can expect longer hours, a continued squeeze on pay and fewer jobs being created in a “hard year of slog” in 2013, a report has warned.
Job insecurity will remain high, with workers maintaining a “grin and bear it” attitude, said John Philpott, director of The Jobs Economist.
Unemployment is forecast to increase by 120,000 to 2.63 million in 2013 because growth in the workforce will exceed the number of jobs being created, Philpott said.
Youth unemployment is forecast to fall below 900,000, while long-term unemployment will remain broadly the same, the report said.
Pay deals will continue to be affected by unemployment, with pay increases lagging behind inflation, leading to wage cuts for workers.
Philpott said he expected only limited support from workers in private firms for union opposition to public sector cuts.
“Our jobs outlook for 2013 is relatively optimistic in that we expect only a modest rise in unemployment. However, the fact that this can be considered good news merely underlines the harsh reality of current economic austerity.
“GDP may grow somewhat faster but 2013 will be another year of hard slog, with longer hours for those lucky enough to have jobs and a further squeeze on living standards for workers and the jobless alike.
“Hard-pressed private sector workers are likely to keep their heads down and get on with the job rather than actively stand shoulder to shoulder with striking public sector trade unionists.
“Workplace disgruntlement in the private sector will instead take the form of simmering distrust of bosses, especially those who adopt the trendy management speak mantra of ’employee engagement’ while piling the pressure on overstretched staff,” he said.
• The number of people in work could reach 30 million before the next general election, a separate report from the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has predicted.
The study of the labour market said continued growth in employment was likely in 2013.
But the report also warned that excess capacity had built up in some firms as employers held on to skilled and talented staff. This could lead to weaker employment growth even if the economy picks up.