Unemployment will continue to rise at least until the summer of 2010, peaking at 2.8 million, a leading business group has predicted.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development warned of a "sting" in the tail of the recession, with a winter rise in job losses as firms assess prospects for the economy in the coming year.
Employers are set to decide to raise productivity and reduce labour costs, leading to "tough times" ahead for British workplaces, the group said.
The report estimated that the number of people in work will fall by 250,000 between the third quarter of this year and the second three months of 2010.
The 2.8 million unemployment prediction is much lower than an earlier forecast by the institute of 3.2m, with the report claiming that the coming year will be better for jobs than 2009.
The institute's chief economic adviser Dr John Philpott forecasted a continued squeeze on pay rises next year.
He said: "This could be difficult to deliver following a recession during which many private sector employees have experienced pay freezes or pay cuts."
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