date: Friday 16 April 2004
embargo: Immediate release
Attention: Industrial, business correspondents
Strong growth in investment is needed to ensure a sustained manufacturing recovery, as thousands more jobs are lost and levels of output have failed to pick up, said the TUC in reaction to employment figures released today (Friday).
Brendan Barber, TUC General Secretary, said:
'The job market as a whole remains strong but UK economic growth depends on a genuine manufacturing recovery. The sector is not yet in a position to be counting chickens. It is imperative that manufacturers use their strong economic circumstances to increase investment to secure growth.
'Investment remains flat in manufacturing, while over 100,000 jobs have been lost in the sector in the past year.'
In its recent submission to the manufacturing strategy review the TUC called on the government to:
- Match the business support given to the rest of Europe
- Use public procurement to support UK based manufacturing jobs
- Boost regional support and development
Notes to Editors:
Todays employment figures show that jobs in manufacturing fell by 7,000 between January 2004 and February 2004 (figures based on latest three month averages).
In February 2003, 3,506,000 people worked in manufacturing. This fell to 3,404,000 in February 2004 (figures based on latest three month averages).
This means there was an annual fall of 2.9 per cent in the number of employee jobs in manufacturing in February 2004, compared with a fall of 3 per cent in the year to January. Nearly all sub-sectors have shown falls over the past year.
Manufacturing output decreased by 0.3 per cent in the three months to February, compared with the three months to November. Index of Production, National Statistics 5 April 2004
Business investment rose by 5.5 percent in the fourth quarter of 2003, but was still 1.5 per cent lower than the fourth quarter of 2002. Investment fell in four of the last eight quarters. National Statistics, 25 March 2004.
Media enquiries: Ben Hurley 020 7467 1248 or 07626 317903 (pager) or email [email protected]
Issued: 16 April, 2004