The Government's confidence booster of "we'll be okay look at our strong labour market" is now starting to look rather shaky.

The last pillar of hope for those keen to stop a collapse in house prices was strong employment. That prop appears to be wobbling.

They say that the last thing companies want to do is shed staff, well it would appear that is now happening apace.

After releasing its gloomiest ever construction report the buyers body CIPS has now added more gloom with its services economy indicator which shows a rapid rise in job cutting. A record rise in costs and poor economic outlook has led to sharpest ever fall in employment, says CIPS.

That is scary for construction more broadly than just house builders, as a large slice of the commercial work - retail, leisure, hotels etc - rests on sustained levels of employment.

The CIPS seasonally adjusted "employment Index" fell to 46.5 (negative) in May, down from 51.0 (positive) in April.

This signaled the strongest contraction in staffing levels in the survey history, with job losses widespread and with the strongest decline in the hotels and restaurants sector.