Call to suspend cuts for growth
The Government has been urged to call a temporary halt to spending cuts to stimulate economic growth and tackle rising unemployment.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) said public sector job losses in the first quarter of the current financial year were five times greater than projected by the Office for Budget Responsibility for the entire year.
More than 600,000 public sector jobs could be lost between 2010/11 and 2015/16, a third more than ministers say they expected, according to the CIPD.
The public sector shed almost 250,000 jobs in the Government's first year in office, said the CIPD, which called on the Chancellor to announce a temporary halt to spending cuts when he unveils his autumn statement next month.
Dr John Philpott, chief economic adviser at the CIPD, said: "With the economy and labour market in such a fragile condition, it is worrying that public sector job losses are turning out to be much greater than ministers have previously been suggesting.
"Public sector job cuts in this context are a false economy, adding to unemployment and in turn hindering rather than helping the task of fiscal deficit reduction.
"A more sensible course would be to delay public sector job cuts to the end of this Parliament and if necessary into the next, thereby enabling them to be absorbed more easily without nasty macroeconomic side-effects.
"The Government's plan for growth must rightly contain measures to stimulate private sector job creation but the Chancellor should also avoid the own goal of cutting public sector jobs at a time of high and rising unemployment."
A Treasury spokesperson said: "Risks in the global economy make it even more essential to stick to the Government's essential deficit reduction plan which is supported by the IMF, OECD and CBI. This plan is essential for sustainable growth and has helped deliver record low interest rates for families.
"Half a million private sector jobs were created last year and the independent Office for Budget Responsibility has forecast that there will be 900,000 more jobs created in the private sector than lost in the public sector by 2015."