Manufacturing (3)

The manufacturing industry is set to cut tens of thousands of jobs in 2016, despite forecasts of growth in the sector, according to the manufacturers’ organisation EEF.

The body expects modest growth next year, following a year of recession in 2015. But that will not stop businesses shedding thousands of jobs as they continue to face the effects of weaker exports, falling demand for North Sea oil and growing concerns over the Chinese economy.

EEF expects the manufacturing industry to grow by 0.8% in 2016, after seeing a 0.1% contraction this year. Much of that growth will be driven by the automotive, aerospace and pharmaceutical industries. And although the sector as a whole will see tens of thousands of jobs cuts, these sub-sectors will buck the trend to increase its workforce.

EEF chief economist, Lee Hopley, said: “Some of the headwinds have been a consistent theme over 2015 – the collapse in oil and gas activity, weakness in key export markets, and strong sterling. Others, like disappointing construction activity and the breakdown in the steel industry, have piled on the pain since the second quarter of 2015.

“It’s not all doom and gloom however, with the resilience of the transport sectors and the rejuvenation of the pharmaceuticals industry providing reasons for cheer in UK manufacturing.”