Jobs Market In 'Freefall' As Factories Slump

The jobs market has been described as in 'freefall' following news that the manufacturing sector is at its lowest over the past decade.

Following the release of the statistics by the Purchasing Managers report, it has emerged the manufacturing sector slumped to a record low last month with output and new orders at an all-time low for a decade

Meanwhile, according to the Irish Small & Medium Enterprises association, over 155 jobs are lost every single day, with a 57% increase in redundancies in the last 12 months.

The NCB purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 37.1 in November, worse than the previous record low of 39.7 in October.

The performance was the worst since the survey began in May 1998. More than 37% of survey respondents noted a fall in output last month.

Jim Curran, who is Head of Research at the ISME said that "the labour market was in freefall", adding that there had beeen 37,000 redundancies since the start of the year.

The figures also confirm that over half (52%) the redundancies were in construction and manufacturing. However, 34% of job losses were in the services sector and females now account for 30% of redundancies, confirming that job losses are now spread throughout the whole economy.

According to ISME Head of Research, Jim Curran: "The latest figures confirm that the jobs market is in crisis with a significant 155 job losses being announced on a daily basis.

"If remedial action is not taken to address the cost environment, the lack of affordable credit and the general uncertainty as a consequence of government inaction, the situation will continue to rapidly deteriorate."

He added: "The bottom line at the moment is that businesses are being hit with cost increases from all angles, they are finding it hard to get paid and difficult to access credit facilities. With sales down across the board they are left with no option but to let people go.

"The Government's response so far has been to increase VAT and to negotiate a 6.5% pay increase over the next 21 months, which will only compound the problem," he said..


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