By Marcus Leach
A new survey has revealed that business confidence in Wales is down on reports that recruitment prospects in the Principality are the second worst in the UK.
The survey, conducted by job agency Manpower, says more employers are looking to shed staff or freeze numbers than those looking to hire workers in Wales.
Such is the extent of the gloom that manufacturing in Wales is said to be suffering to a greater extent than it is in the north of England.
And it doesn't end there, with business experts suggesting that they fear the situation could get even worse.
"Wales is behind the other regions when it comes to hiring by SMEs (small and medium enterprises), many of which are currently running on skeleton staff and are significantly less keen to recruit," said Manpower's operations manager for Wales, Andrew Shellard.
"The manufacturing sector in Wales is suffering even more than in the north, and the public sector has no hiring ambitions at all.
"As the economy slows down across the country, employers in Wales are now significantly less confident about taking on additional staff."
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