Consulting jobs are at risk, admit firms.

PricewaterhouseCoopers said it has ‘not ruled out’ making UK job cuts after it emerged this week that rival KPMG is shedding up to one in ten of its consulting staff, write Alex Miller and Gavin Hinks.

KPMG Consulting said that more than 200 of its 2,100 staff will go, starting in July, following a downturn in IT business. A spokesman said the major loss of work was in the internet and integrated solutions area during the course of 2001 despite strong growth last year of 13%.

And he hinted further cuts may be imminent. ‘We are reflecting where we are in our business now. In large sections of business this year there has been a downturn,’ he added.

A PwC spokesman said the firm took such decisions on a territory by territory basis, and has already announced 8% of its consultancy staff in the US are to go. He said: ‘We have not ruled out such decisions in the UK, but we are not aware of anything definite. Our service levels are currently at the right levels.’

Ernst & Young, which last year sold its consulting business to Cap Gemini, also believes further job cuts are imminent. ‘Economic downturns do affect consultancy. In the current economic climate, such cuts are possible,’ said a spokesman.

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