The CBI employers’ group is forecasting improvement in the economy but warns that progress will be slow, in a report published today. Following estimations that the economy grew 0.3% in the first quarter of the year, the group forecasts the UK to grow at a weak pace of 1% in 2013. Even that, and the prediction of 2% growth in 2014, is more optimistic than many other forecasts. P.4 of FT, p.46 of The Independent, p.4 of the Daily Express, cover of City A.M. and p.6 of the Daily Mail.
Cuts to council tax benefit last month are already lending to a rise in non-payment, and hard-pressed authorities have increased the sums set aside to cover bad debts, a snapshot survey by the FT suggests. Since April 1, hundreds of thousands of people have become liable for council tax for the first time. This follows the government decision to cut by 10% the sums available for relief, and to give local authorities the power to set their own eligibility criteria, as part of a drive to slash the welfare bill. The FT contacted 20 councils, identified by Sheffield Hallam University as areas with households facing the greatest losses. P.4 of FT.
45 people are applying for every low-skill job, according to employers, in a labour market that remains especially tough for job-seekers with less experience and fewer skills or qualifications. The finding follows reports of employers being inundated with applications when they advertise vacancies. In February, 1,700 people applied for eight jobs at a branch of Costa Coffee in Nottingham. Employment is likely to grow in the second quarter, but could also be accompanied by rises in unemployment, according to a survey of 1,000 human resources managers by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development. P.4 of FT
However, The Times p.42 took a different stance – saying that although there is a huge disconnect between employers and young people this gap is bridgeable. Many companies are using work experience as means of reaching out and are “quite surprised” at how good young people can be.