Almost half of firms plan to cut hiring or not recruit at all over the next year, the U.K.’s biggest business lobby group said, adding to the gloom surrounding the country’s job market.
While 51% of companies said they plan to expand or maintain recruitment levels, 46% said they would not, according to the Confederation of British Industry’s annual survey, which drew responses from 248 firms. The positive balance of 5% was down from +56% last year, the CBI said.
The survey comes three days after official data showed the U.K. has shed 700,000 jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, with the unemployment rate increasing to 4.1% from 3.9%.
Economists warn that might be the calm before the storm, predicting as many as 3 million people may be out of work by the end of the year, up from 1.4 million currently.