The survey published in association with the firm Business Strategies Ltd, shows employment levels declined most steeply in Yorkshire and the Humber region over the past four months compared to other UK regions.
Employment fell everywhere, bar Northern Ireland, where the employment rise is expected to continue in line with overall business confidence. The situation in Scotland remained relatively stable. Job cuts in other regions are also set to continue, the survey found.
Hann-Ju Ho, senior economist at Business Strategies, said higher oil prices, intense competition and the high level of sterling, have meant that profit margins remain extremely tight for many manufacturers. “More will go to the wall, meaning further job losses,” he said.
By Lisa Bratby