SFA claims job-loss rate slowing
The rate of job losses is slowing down, according to the Small Firms Association (SFA). It says the number of workers seeing hours cut is also expected to fall.
The unusually positive findings are from the SFA's Third Quarter survey of 636 companies employing 13,750 people. Companies were surveyed about their expectations for the final three months of the year.
It found that 60pc of small businesses expected employee numbers to stay the same over the next three months, with fewer than one-in-four companies expecting to cut jobs. The number of workers seeing their hours cut has also slowed.
But the outlook for growth remains fragile. Only 14pc of employers expect to increase staff numbers between now and the end of the year. Those in work are still at risk of seeing hours cut, with 9pc of companies expecting to introduce short-time working over the next three months.
The outlook for next year is also better. One-in-five small firms expects to hire more staff next year and 62pc of those surveyed expect employee numbers to remain stable. Despite that 23pc of companies hope to see total wage costs fall next year.