Employment rose marginally in the construction and manufacturing sectors in July, but the two sectors had differing broader fortunes.
The respective Purchasing Managers’ Indices (PMIs) for the two sectors, produced by economists Markit in association with the Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS), found that the construction industry was in growth, while manufacturing’s decline quickened in pace.
The PMI for construction stood at 50.9, having stood at 48.2 in the previous month, where 50 indicates no change in the fortunes of the sector. Growth, however, was largely confined to the commercial sub-sector as house building and civil engineering continued to decline.
Despite the third monthly jump in employment in the last four months, the manufacturing index stood at a 38-month low. CIPS chief executive David Noble referred to the employment figure as “the thinnest of silver linings”, with decline in production figures described as “ominous”.