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Decline in job ads worst for 20 years

LONDON - Job advertising in the national press has dropped by 40%, the starkest rate of decline in the last 20 years.

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According to a report by the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, the number of employment opportunities advertised in newspapers fell in December, the eighth month in a row a decline has been recorded.

In November, private-sector job advertising in the national press was 59% lower than the year before -- the fastest rate of decline for 19 years. The decline in advertising from the public sector was less severe, following government initiatives to recruit teachers, nurses and police officers. It fell by 6%.

Government headline figures for unemployment could soon reach the 1m mark, with as many as 10,000 new unemployed expected in the next round of figures. The report will add further weight to the argument that record consumer spending in the public sector -- believed to have kept recession at bay in the UK -- is unsustainable.

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