Estate agent and architect jobs on the line

6 June 2008
More than 40,000 people working in the business services sector - including almost 15,000 estate agents - are likely to lose their jobs over the next two years because of the economic downturn, an economics consultancy has claimed.

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (cebr) says the economic downturn will see job losses in virtually all aspects of the business service sector, with architects, estate agents and lawyers to feel the brunt first.

In a report, it warns the business sector is in for a “tough couple of years” with very modest growth in both 2008 and 2009 and, for the first time since 2001, a decline in the number of people it employs. It estimates there will be 1% fewer people employed in the business service sector in 2009 than 2008, equivalent to more than 40,000 jobs.

Other sectors to suffer the most include the legal and advertising parts of this sector. For consultants and accountants, the cebr expects the worst effects to only be felt in 2009.

Jorg Radeke, one author of the report, says: “Although unlikely to be the victims of the credit crunch that will garner the most sympathy, estate agents and others involved in managing real estate are likely to find the next 12 months particularly tough and there will be extensive job cuts.”

However, the silver lining is that ‘what comes down must go up’ and although estate agents will be among the first to face the economic downturn they will also be among the first to benefit from a future economic upturn.

John Ward, a managing economist at cebr, adds: “Our analysis suggests that this will be a short-lived phenomenon.”

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