Overseas companies that set up plants in the UK during the past decade may have exaggerated job creation claims to attract Government funding, a report claims.
Some firms that opened in north-east England failed to meet job creation targets, according to research by the Newcastle Upon Tyne Business School.
Researcher Dr Colin Wren told BBC News that numbers might have been “deliberately overestimated” to get financial help.
The study looked at 265 foreign-owned plants in the area from 1985 to 1998. It found that plants promised a total of 48,825 jobs, but only 34,164 had been created by 1999.
More than 9,000 jobs were promised by factories which had closed down before 1998. Another researcher said the results of the study pointed to a “misallocation” of public funds.
However, the study does admit that estimating job numbers could be difficult, especially for large operations. Most of the companies – which have not been named – are headquartered in Europe, the Far East and the US.