Manufacturing firms freeze pay

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More than four out of five manufacturing firms have frozen the pay of their staff, the highest figure for more than 20 years, it was disclosed today.

The Engineering Employers Federation said its study showed that tough economic conditions continued to hit companies across the country.

A survey of more than 200 manufacturers showed that pay freezes were at the highest level since the study was launched in 1987.

About one in seven firms said they had deferred a pay rise this year.

David Yeandle, the Federation's head of employment policy, said: "These figures highlight the fact that for many companies life remains extremely tough.

"The need to take all measures necessary to control costs and retain skilled staff remains a priority."