Report Highlights Consecutive Falls In Staffing Rates

Over the last three months, UK financial services companies cut jobs at the fastest rate for more than six years as business fell for a second successive quarter. The findings, taken from a recent CBI/ PricewaterhouseCoopers survey of the industry, show 13 per cent of companies increased staffing during the first quarter of 2003 but 43 per cent decreased it. The balance of minus 30 per cent indicates the fastest rate of job cutting since September 1996. Recent surveys show firms not reducing jobs as severely as anticipated but this quarter gloomy expectations have been met. For the first time since March 1993 the survey recorded two consecutive quarters of declining business. The industry had until recently become used to robust and continuous growth. Forty per cent of companies said the volume of business was down over the past three months but 28 per cent said it was up. The balance of minus 12 per cent compares with minus ten per cent last quarter, the weakest figure since December 1992. Companies also said the level of business was well below normal.


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