The employment situation will deteriorate further in the fourth quarter of 2011, with the Labour Market Outlook net employment index* having fallen to -3 from -1 in the past three months. This is the second successive quarterly fall and the lowest net balance since last winter. Medium-term prospects are no better, with the twelve-month index also recording -2. The private sector looks set to grow in the next three months (+20), but at a slower pace than in recent quarters. Confidence in the public sector remains low (-50) for the next three months and is even lower for the year ahead (-57). Meanwhile, the voluntary sector has seen no movement in net employment intentions for the fourth quarter of 2011, remaining at +7.
* The Labour Market Outlook net employment index measures the difference between the proportion of employers that intend to increase total staffing levels and those that intend to decrease total staffing levels.
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