Another 140,000 manufacturing jobs at risk this year warns EEF

The slump in UK manufacturing could result in a further 140,000 job losses this year as output continues to fall, the engineering and manufacturing body EEF has revealed.

EEF has predicated that these job losses will affect all sectors of the manufacturing industry after its survey indicated that output was likely to fall by a further 8% this year, with only a 0.2% recovery in 2010.

The organisation’s chief economist, Steve Radley, said: “There is simply no hiding the fact – these figures make grim reading. The past three months have been extremely difficult for manufacturers, with markets at home and abroad showing severe declines.

“There is now an urgent need to support companies in hanging on to the skilled workers they will need for when the upturn comes. Government must now consider all possible avenues to help companies deliver alternatives to redundancy.”

EEF’s survey revealed that 37% of the 782 firms questioned were likely to have a smaller workforce by the end of the year – this was up from 13% in the fourth quarter of 2008 – while 45% planned to cut back on investments made within the business.

Large companies with more than 200 employees were found to be the most likely to report job cuts.

EFF said that the continuing decline in manufacturing was heavily linked to the beleaguered auto industry.

In February Personnel Today reported that manufacturing was bearing the brunt of job cuts, with the number of redundancies in the sector doubling from 26,000 to 60,000 in the three months to December.

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