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Telco recruitment plummets to 30-year low

Things have never looked grimmer... well, not since 1972...
Written by Pia Heikkila, Contributor

Things have never looked grimmer... well, not since 1972...

Early 2002 looks bleak for the telecoms industry as experts predict the sharpest drop in telecommunications jobs in 30 years. This is according to a study published by recruitment agency Manpower. Its Quarterly Survey of Employment Prospects found that the number of jobs available in telecoms will shrink over the next three months. Manpower has created a "Net Job Gains" index to rank each area of employment by number, which is calculated by subtracting the percentage of companies expecting to reduce staff numbers from the percentage expecting to take on staff. The telecoms index was down to -2 from +28 a year ago. The survey said: "UK employers' predictions for the period January to March 2002 show the steepest quarter-on-quarter drop in the 33-year history of the survey." Iain Herbertson, managing director of Manpower, said prospects for the telecommunications sector are poor: Telecommunications is expecting the worst employment prospects since 1996 and this is the first time since then that our net job gains index has dropped below zero. The last three quarters have seen substantial falls in prospects, from nearly 40 net job gains in Q2 2001 to next quarter's figure of -2." Maddie Reed, programme manager at E-skills NTO - the national training organisation for IT and telecoms - said: "The telecoms industry has been one of the sectors most badly hit, but it is a short-term decline and does not reflect the long-term growth as there are number of new technologies coming up, such as 3G. But the analysts say the sector should be picking up over the next 12-18 months." The survey covered over 2,000 UK companies countrywide, across all industries. A more detailed guide to the skills market for 2002 can be found at http://www.silicon.com/a50203
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