Growth in manufacturing employment stagnated last year, according to a survey by contract manufacturer Remploy Manufacturing Services.
Its survey of more than 7,000 manufacturing sites found the number that had increased staffing in the year to September 1997 had fallen to 3%, equivalent to 8,000 new jobs, from 28% in the previous year.
Sasha Bowman, Remploy’s group marketing manager, said: ‘Because of the strength of sterling, manufacturers have had to find ways of remaining competitive. Containing employment costs is one way.’
A survey by automation specialist Festo shows firms more worried about skills shortages than the exchange rate.