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Recession claims 6,800 jobs in one day

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December 5 2008:About 6,800 more British jobs are likely to disappear, it emerged yesterday, as employers throughout the developed world step up the pace of layoffs.

Economists at JP Morgan said: "With indicators pointing to an intensifying global adjustment in employment and business spending, our forecast for the deepest four-quarter GDP slide in the developed world since world war two appears to be on track."

Many experts are predicting the next monthly labour market figures from the US - to be published this afternoon - will show one of the sharpest drops on record for the number of Americans in work. The closely watched data could spark dramatic moves in share prices around the world.

Paul Dales, an economist at Capital Economics, said the pace of job losses had accelerated in the UK and was likely to continue to do so as the recession is deeper and longer than many had anticipated. He said British unemployment rates could see some of the steepest rises among western economies. "We think unemployment in the UK will rise by 1.7 million to just over 3 million in 2010 ... with a little more than one in 10 members of the workforce out of work."

Capital Economics predicts job losses in financial services will reach 100,000 by the end of 2010, with at least half of them in the City. Construction layoffs are forecast to reach 500,000 and a similar number is pencilled in for high street retailers, hotels, bars and restaurants.

Underlining the accelerating unemployment trend, global recruitment specialist Michael Page International yesterday issued a profits warning. It told investors pre-tax profits for 2008 were likely to come in at £136m, about 9.5% below analysts` consensus estimates.

The company, which includes a substantial financial services recruitment division, blamed the spreading of turmoil from the financial sector to the wider economy, sapping employer confidence.

"This loss of confidence is now more marked and has spread in November to virtually every industry sector and geographic market in which the group operates. Consequently, the cautious behaviour of clients and candidates has increased further."

The company, which had expanded headcount about 10% in developing economies this year, said it will have shed about 350 jobs in the last three months of 2008.

Details emerged from the City yesterday of redundancy plans at Nomura, Credit Suisse and Commerzbank.

Nomura, the Japanese bank that recently acquired some of the London operations of collapsed US investment bank Lehman Brothers, said 1,000 jobs would go. Credit Suisse revealed plans for 5,300 staff and 1,400 contractors to be made redundant, confirming reports this week that 650 London staff will go.

Commerzbank, which is not due to complete its acquisition of Dresdner Kleinwort until next year, has said its 3,300-strong combined workforce will be cut by 1,200 over the next three months, with deep cuts in equity research, fixed-income proprietary trading and corporate finance. Layoffs had been anticipated as part of the merger but are greater in number and swifter than many had expected.

Private equity-owned gambling group Gala Coral, which has closed several bingo halls this year, is to shed 100-200 head office jobs.

Credit data firm Experian revealed plans to cut up to 300 jobs in Britain and Ireland by next spring.

Honda is believed to have offered an early retirement package to workers at its Swindon plant but the number of jobs to be cut has not been revealed.

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