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Job prospects worsen for senior execs.

The demand for senior executives is falling, according to research conducted by recruitment consultancy MSL Search and Selection. In the fourth quarter of last year demand for executives fell by 15 percent, compared with the same period in 1997. Based on advertising trends, the research shows that advertised opportunities fell by 4% in 1998. This contrasts with a 27% increase in 1997 and a 30% increase in 1996. It is the first yearly fall since 1992. IT executives faced the biggest slump. Demand for them was down 37%, while demand for accountants recorded the second highest fall, with a decrease of 23%. A separate survey by PA Consulting also suggests a bleak outlook for executives. PA argues that redundancies will occur in the next downturn for different reasons than in the last recession. They believe most staff cuts will be caused by structural business changes, with executives likely to lose their jobs because of where they work, rather than how they perform. Financial recruitment specialist Michael Fletcher, commenting on the research, said: “Regardless of ability, lots of people are losing their jobs through no fault of their own. This is reflected in the impressive quality of people who are now applying for senior management positions.”

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