Up to 100,000 jobs in the tourism industry could be at risk due to the impact of the foot-and-mouth outbreak, according to the CIPD's chief economist.
John Philpott told Personnel Today that the disease would cause more harm to the UK's economy in the short term than the effect of the slowdown in the States.
He said, "The majority of people employed in farming are the farmers themselves rather than hired workers, and they will take a knock in income.
"Tourism is a much bigger employment sector. There are 1.8 million people employed in tourism in the UK - you only need to have one in 20 affected to have 100,000 people with their livelihoods under threat.
"The good news is it a temporary effect lasting over the spring and the summer, but it might cause a rise in unemployment."