Jobs picture worsens

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The Independent Online
ECONOMIC gloom has deepened throughout the European business community over the past six months, according to a survey published today.

Senior company executives in Britain, France, Germany, Spain and Italy expect to shed more jobs, the report from the venture capital group 3i and the Cranfield Enterprise Centre says.

Earlier this week 3i was forced to shed 100 jobs after it closed five offices.

The number of businesses in Spain expecting to cut staff is 26 per cent higher than those expecting to take people on. Six months ago the figure was just 11 per cent higher.

In France the figure is up to 25 per cent from 11 per cent. In Germany it is up to 21 per cent from 6 per cent and in Italy up to 7 per cent from zero.

Only Britain is seeing a slight improvement - 17 per cent compared with 20 per cent six months ago - according to the survey of 739 firms.

Paul Burns, a spokesman for the research team, said: 'The survey underlines that the recession is a Europe-wide phenomenon, with unemployment expected to increase everywhere.'