A wave of job cuts is about to hit hotels, restaurants and other employers in the services sector as the economic crisis intensifies, according to a CBI report.
The employers' group's latest Service Sector Survey of 195 professional and consumer services employers found many were expecting to wield the axe.
In the consumer services sector, including hotels and restaurants, profitability plummeted during the three months to November.
The percentage of respondents expecting to cut jobs over the next three months was 25 points higher than the percentage expecting to create them.
Ian McCafferty, chief economic adviser at the CBI, said: "With consumers continuing to tighten their belts, companies operating in consumer services such as leisure and personal care are continuing to find trading conditions very challenging.
"So far, job losses have been relatively small across the whole of the service sector, but with firms predicting faster falls in volumes, values and profitability in the next quarter, we can expect to see significant job losses in the coming months."
By Daniel Thomas
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