The CBI has warned that 50,000 jobs
could be lost this year due to the global slowdown and foot and
It predicts that most of the jobs
will go in the service sector, particularly in the hotel and catering
“This is going to be a worrying
Easter for many people in business. It is clear that the foot and mouth
epidemic and the slowdown in America will be strongly felt in many quarters,”
said the CBI’s director-general Digby Jones.
But Jones reassures employers that
the economy is about to suffer an economic downturn rather than a full-blown
He added, “This is no time for
people to panic. The economy is fundamentally strong. The word recession should
stay off the agenda.”
The CBI has suggested that the
government should consider measures to provide temporary subsidies to affected
firms from October to compensate for the increase in the minimum wage.
It wants measures introduced to
ensure employment tribunals are sensitive to problems caused by the disease,
such as staff lay-offs.
The CBI also believes specialist
advice should be made available to companies that urgently need to diversify
products or services because of lost home markets.
By Paul Nelson