Britain faces the prospect of returning to the days of having 3 million unemployed after a trio of gloomy economic surveys showed the jobs market in its most depressed state for three years and business confidence collapsing.
The number of new permanent and temporary roles declined at the fastest rate since July 2009, the latest survey of recruitment consultants by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG Report on Jobs shows.
The sudden slump has led the accountants to predict a return to levels of unemployment last seen in the early 1990s.
KPMG partner Bernard Brown said: “The latest recruitment data comes as a sobering reminder that we’re far away from a confident economic situation.
“Indeed, with both permanent and temporary appointments declining at the sharpest rate in nearly three years and overall demand for staff showing the weakest growth since the start of 2012, the outlook would appear bleak … A real worry for me is the acceleration in the pace of decline, which suggests this isn’t a mere blip.