Small firms downbeat on jobs

Employment at small firms took a knock in the first three months of the year, the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said yesterday. A negative balance of -6.5 per cent of companies reported a decreased headcount in the first-quarter, the FSB’s latest index showed. The figure was worse than expected, after a negative balance of just -2.5 per cent expecting any reductions in staff at the end of 2010. The confidence index remained in negative territory in every quarter last year.