After cuts in January and April, this will be the third round of redundancies at the world’s largest accountancy firm this year. It will affect around 800 people in its consultancy arm. The cuts come in response to the sharply declining demand by clients for consultancy work.
As part of the scaling back process, consultancy pay will be reduced by 5-10% for partners as well as junior consultants. The firm has also said it has had to postpone graduate recruitment until the economy improves. Graduates due to take up posts this year are being asked to defer until next year.
PwC’s consultancy arm has been up for sale for over a year and the only serious offer from Hewlett Packard worth about $18bn collapsed last December when HP’s share price plummetted. The Big Five firm says it is still considering all avenues such as an initial public offering. Since admitting that July 2000 was an unrealistic deadline to sell off its consultancy arm, PwC has given no further timescales for the sale of its consultancy branch.
Job cuts at PwC’s UK offices have not been ruled out and worsening economic conditions make the possibility more likely.
PwC is not alone in its field.
KPMG Consulting announced in May that around 500 of its 2,000 staff in Canada and the US would go from July due to a downturn in the IT market. Further cuts are imminent.
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