Jobcentre staff to strike

Thousands of Jobcentre staff will go on strike today in a long-running row over "oppressive working conditions and unrealistic targets".

Jobs market to remain unstable in 2012

The UK's labour market deserves a gold medal for its incredible performance in the face of adversity so far this year.

In the last few months, it has defied gravity as unemployment has fallen and jobs grew even while the economy slipped back into recession.

But this run might be coming to an end as this month's data shows that permanent appointments have fallen for a second month and temporary employment has seen an eighth consecutive month of contraction.

– REC Chief Executive Kevin Green

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Olympic effects slows jobs market

The number of people placed in permanent jobs has fallen for the second month in a row, suggesting that employers are putting recruitment decisions on hold until after the Olympics, according to new research.

Unemployment
Less people are securing permanent jobs Credit: REUTERS/Stephen Hird

A report by KPMG and the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said there was still a "high degree of uncertainty" among employers.

Fears of jobless figures to rise in UK

  • Official figures have so far defied an apparently worsening double-dip recession as unemployment fell 65,000 to 2.58 million in the quarter to May, prompting many economists to cast doubt over the growth data.
  • The rate is expected to remain stable at 8.1 per cent in the quarter to June when the latest figures are released on Wednesday.

Government condemn Jobcentre strikes

We are disappointed that some staff are taking industrial action which we think is unnecessary. We have gone to great lengths to resolve issues with unions.

Jobcentres and benefit payments will be unaffected and claimants will be able to access some information online, so any impact will be limited.

– A Department for Work and Pensions spokesman

Jobcentre staff to strike over 'working conditions'

With unemployment remaining high and our economy in the grip of recession, it is shameful that Jobcentre bosses are still refusing to let their staff provide the kind of help and advice that people need.

These call centres provide a vital lifeline. Inquiries are often complicated, and people struggling to find their way around the benefits system are often understandably desperate and upset.

Our members care about the services they provide and they want to be able to help people properly, not have to fob them off.

– PCS general secretary Mark Serwotka

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Jobcentre staff go on strike

Thousands of Jobcentre staff will go on strike today in a long-running row over "oppressive working conditions and unrealistic targets".

Jobcentre
More than 6,000 Jobcentre staff are due to go on strike Credit: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

More than 6,000 members of, the Public and Commercial Services union in 32 call centres in England, Scotland and Wales will reignite industrial action first taken last year.

They claim that "draconian" conditions are preventing them from providing a decent service.