JCB says the credit crunch has contributed to a decline in orders
Digger firm JCB has announced a redundancy programme that will result in the loss of 500 manufacturing and about 150 other jobs across the UK.
The move is a result of a rapid decline in orders, which has led to a 20% decrease in the forecast production schedule for 2008.
The construction industry has been badly affected by the credit crunch and rising raw materials prices.
The Rocester, Staffordshire-based firm has 11 factories around the UK.
Growing demand for JCB products in some emerging markets such as Russia, the Middle East and Brazil has not been enough to reverse the downturn in the construction sector in developed markets, said JCB group chief executive Matthew Taylor.
"These job losses are regrettable but absolutely necessary to ensure that JCB remains competitive and well-positioned to benefit from any market upturn," said Mr Taylor.
"However we do not expect to see a recovery until late 2009 at the earliest."