Subway has 1,400 outlets in the UK and Ireland
The US sandwich chain Subway has confirmed plans to open 600 new stores in the UK and the Irish Republic, which could lead to more than 7,000 new jobs.
The Subway announcement came on a day when 2,300 jobs were cut across the UK.
Among others, power company E.ON cut 450 jobs, retailer Zavvi cut 295 jobs, while engineering group Cookson confirmed it would cut nearly 180 jobs.
While some firms are expanding, the downturn in the UK has prompted many others to tighten their belts.
Companies cutting back include:
- Power firm E.ON is to cut 450 jobs, mainly in its retail division. It plans to introduce "leaner and more efficient processes" and said it would try to ensure most redundancies are voluntary
- Music, games and DVD retailer Zavvi is to close 15 stores immediately, leading to the loss of 295 jobs
- Engineering group Cookson will cut its global workforce by 7%. It is to shut its manufacturing plant in Ayrshire in the next 12 months, with the loss of 180 jobs
- Nearly 130 jobs are to go at food company Serious Foods after it appointed PwC as administrator
- Law firm Linklaters is to start a 90-day consultation with staff, with up to 120 lawyers and 150 business staff expected to lose their jobs
- The London Underground is to cut 1,000 jobs, mostly in its administrative, finance and legal divisions
- The GMB union has said it fears 182 jobs may go at National Grid in Newcastle upon Tyne because the company plans to outsource work
- Southern Water staff have been told they will not receive a pay rise this year.
But some chains continue to report growth.
Subway, which has more than 1,400 outlets owned by 660 franchisees in the UK and Irish Republic, confirmed its longstanding plans to invest £60m in the new stores, though it does need to find willing franchisees first.
The chain said it had opened 22 new UK outlets in the last two months alone, creating 264 jobs. It currently employs about 16,000 people in the UK and Irish Republic.
From just 25 outlets in 2000, it now has more than 30,000 stores in more than 87 countries across the world.
Also on Thursday, financial services company First Derivatives said it would create 110 new jobs in Newry, County Down, as part of an expansion package.
Swedish fashion retailer H&M also announced on Thursday that it would create between 6,000 and 7,000 new jobs around the world this year.
On Wednesday, supermarket chain Asda said that it was opening 14 new stores in 2009, creating 7,000 new positions.