Brits pessimistic about employment prospects

11-09-2006

Consumers are feeling increasingly gloomy about UK job prospects, new figures reveal.

The monthly Consumer Barometer from Lloyds TSB Corporate Markets shows that 40 per cent of consumers believe that general employment prospects in Britain have worsened over the past year.

This compares to just 14 per cent who believe that general employment prospects have improved in the last 12 months.

An increasingly pessimistic outlook for inflation and interest rates is the main driver behind this view, the report claims, with 76 per cent of consumers believing that interest rates will be higher in 12 months time.

"Although the [Bank of England's] Monetary Policy Committee kept rates on hold in September, consumers are increasingly convinced they will rise again and this is hitting confidence in the job market," said chief economist at Lloyds TSB, Trevor Williams.

"Although this response is somewhat unexpected - employment gains have been strong and economic growth has quickened - it suggests the rate rise in August may have confirmed earlier fears and played a key role in this month's worse results."

The barometer also found that perceptions of job security among consumers in the UK had fallen, for the first time in three months.



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