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UK Contractors: Manufacturing job creation hits 33-month high

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Contractors and Limited companies trading in the manufacturing sector will be pleased to learn that employment has risen at its fastest pace in nearly three years.

The latest Markit/CIPS UK Manufacturing PMI (Purchasing Managers Index) has revealed that during February, the sector experienced strong output and new orders, as well as record figures in job creation.

The pace of jobs growth reached a 33-month high in February, as the improved performance of the sector encouraged companies to take on more staff.

Rob Dobson, Senior Economist at survey compilers Markit, said, “The survey suggests we should expect another quarter of robust economic growth in the opening quarter of the year. The Manufacturing PMI ticked higher in February to provide welcome reassurance that the sector has weathered the storms and flooding in parts of the country during the month. Growth of production and new orders lost only a little momentum and are still rising at above trend rates.

“This mini-renaissance in manufacturing is also driving the sharpest job creation since the middle of 2011, which will support the broader economic recovery through improved consumer confidence and spending.”

David Noble, Chief Executive Officer at the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply, added, “UK manufacturing remains remarkably resilient in February, with employment levels speeding ahead. Driving the trend of recovery this month was the rate of increase in staffing levels, which reached a 33-month high. Increasing levels of production, new orders amongst the steepest in the survey’s history and positive expectations, helped sustain this solid growth and are encouraging signs for the next few months.”

Another recent report carried out in January by the manufacturers’ organisation EEF and BDO,  predicted that the sector will grow by 2.7% in 2014 compared to 2.4% for the economy overall. 

Commenting, EEF Chief Economist, Ms Lee Hopley, explained further, “Over the course of the year we have seen a definite turnaround in prospects for manufacturing and this looks set to continue into next year. This increased confidence is evident in companies looking to increase their headcount and, most importantly for balanced growth, step up their investment.”

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