9 November 2001

Agri-machinery jobs in danger

THE agri-machinery industry is set to lose over 4000 jobs next year, according to new analysis by financial publishers Plimsoll Publishing.

Audited accounts of the 1000 biggest companies show that the cost of salaries has increased by 9% in three years, yet sales have fallen by 9% in the same period. Already a third of the companies are loss-making, and a staggering 50% will not be able to absorb next years anticipated 4% salary increase.

This provides "strong evidence" that at least 84% of the industry will need to shed jobs in the next 12 months, says Plimsoll.

"Managers will use the current economic and market conditions to make decisions frankly they should have made 18 months ago," says senior analyst David Pattison.

But Jake Vowles of the Agricultural Engineers Association disagrees.

"Clearly there will be continued restructuring from manufacturers, importers and dealers, but it wont be anything like 4000 – there is not that much fat left in the industry." &#42