R&D continues remorseless decline

British firms cut up to 7,000 jobs in research and development work during 1996, according to figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics. Total employment in R&D posts fell from 146,000 people in 1995 to 139,000 last year, a decline of 5%, the ONS said. The total decline in R&D posts since […]

British firms cut up to 7,000 jobs in research and development work during 1996, according to figures released this week by the Office for National Statistics.

Total employment in R&D posts fell from 146,000 people in 1995 to 139,000 last year, a decline of 5%, the ONS said. The total decline in R&D posts since 1990 now stands at 32,000.

There were 80,000 scientists and engineers in research posts during 1996, 3,000 down on 1995.

The figures show a drop in overall R&D expenditure to £9.05bn in 1996 from £9.25bn the year before (at constant 1995 prices).

The region with the largest R&D expenditure was the South East, with 24% of the national total. Eastern England came second, with 22%.

The greatest fall came in the defence sector, where expenditure declined by 9%.

The new Government has been trying to arrest the drop in R&D investment with fiscal measures, including cuts in corporation tax and the abolition of credits on dividend payments to pension funds.

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