It has been revealed that the British manufacturing industry is noting trouble, with tough trading conditions creating a wealth of problems for companies. A new survey found that margins had slipped, as had orders and output, with both the BDO and EEF saying that the majority of industry indicators had weakened in the past quarter.
With employment a large issue in the UK as the government looks to reduce the number of people who are out of work, the latest reports for the manufacturing industry could cause some concerns. Lee Hopely, chief economist at EEF, explained: “Pockets of growth still remain in some sectors, but overall confidence appears to be draining away. The sharp drop in export balances over the past quarter is a particular concern, given their importance to UK manufacturers and also our economy's reliance on exports as a source of growth.”
For recruitment agencies and those looking for jobs, the worry is that the weakened manufacturing sector could start to shed jobs as demand drops. It was reported that many of the 360 companies questioned said that profit margins had slipped by 23%, making future investments in staff or expansions increasingly unlikely. Meanwhile, order levels had fallen to levels not noted since the recession ended in 2009.
Recruiters will need to keep a firm eye on the manufacturing industry over the coming few months to see how the next quarter affects the sector. Though it is hoped that growth will be noted, recruitment agencies should be readied to provide temporary workers to companies who shed permanent staff and need to plug employee gaps.