Unemployment in Britain is likely to rise further as job losses, particularly in the public sector, outpace hiring, a survey showed on Monday.
The quarterly poll of more than 1,000 private, public and voluntary organisations by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) showed that employers in all three sectors intended to add fewer jobs but also make fewer cuts than in recent quarters.
Many firms appear to be locked in 'wait and see' mode, with some companies scaling back on all employment decisions against a backdrop of increasing uncertainty as a result of the euro zone crisis and wider global economic turmoil, said Gerwyn Davies, public policy adviser at the CIPD.
The CIPD net employment index -- which measures the difference between the share of employers that intend to increase their workforce and those that plan to shrink it -- fell to -3 from -1 for the third quarter.
That is equal to the reading for the first quarter, which was the lowest since the first three months of 2010.
Recruitment intentions are falling, which will make further rises in unemployment therefore seem inevitable, Davies said.
The longer-term outlook was not much better, with the equivalent 12-month index coming in at -2, although that was well above the -6 reading recorded in the previous survey.
There is no immediate sign of UK labour market conditions improving in the short or medium term, Davies commented.
Another survey released on Monday forecast that hiring in the private sector will hold up, supporting the CIPD finding that it is job cuts in the public sector that will drive a rise in overall unemployment.
According to the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) and recruitment consultants Harvey Nash, 47 percent of businesses think their workforce will be larger in a year and 19 percent predict it will be smaller, giving a balance of +28 percent.
The government has banked heavily on the private sector to create new jobs as public spending cuts are kicking in.
However, the unemployment rate in Britain jumped to 8.1 percent, its highest since 1996, in the three months to August, with the total number of unemployed at its highest level since 1994.
Official unemployment numbers are due on Wednesday and economists reckon joblessness has risen further.
Polling was carried out between August 31 and October 10 for the CIPD survey and between August and September for the CBI survey.
(Reporting by Olesya Dmitracova; editing by Stephen Nisbet)