UK factories keep cutting jobs; Rolls-Royce launches rights issue – business live

Rolling coverage of the latest economic and financial news

10.09am BST

The Covid-19 pandemic has also driven up unemployment in the euro area.

Figures just released show that the jobless rate in the euro area rose to 8.1% in August, the fifth monthly rise in a row, up from 8.0% in July.

Euro area #unemployment up to 8.1% in August 2020 (8.0% in July). EU up to 7.4%

In August 2020, 3.032 million young persons (under 25) were unemployed in the EU, of whom 2.460 million were in the euro area.

In August 2020, the youth unemployment rate was 17.6% in the EU and 18.1% in the euro area, up from 17.4% and 17.8% respectively in the previous month.

9.56am BST

Duncan Brock, Group Director at the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply, says the employment picture at UK factories has ‘darkened’ – despite manufacturers reporting that activity picked up again last month.

“Manufacturing made solid progress towards recovery in September, with just a minor step back from August’s two-and-a-half-year index high. New pipelines of work increased for the third month in a row and export orders the strongest for almost two years.

The impetus behind this resurgence, lies in the release of delayed projects and more people returning to work but the employment picture overall darkened significantly. Some firms continued to make use of the furlough scheme to retain their workforce, but larger numbers of redundancies this month means we have a wretched end to the third quarter as job numbers fell for the eighth month in a row.

Longer delivery times and increased competition for raw materials, caused the highest rate of input price inflation since December 2018. The increase in prices to customers followed closely behind and is set to continue for the remainder of the year.

In spite of these difficulties, the sector’s glass remained half full, and optimism for the year ahead was sustained. Some businesses were using forward buying strategies to build stocks for Christmas and Brexit, which may boost employment levels, but it is anyone’s guess whether more lockdown disruptions derail this hope.”

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