The economic crisis continues to hit the economy as thousands of workers are being laid off across the majority of industrial sectors, the Israel Manufacturers Association reported on Sunday. "The industrial sector is continuing to cut its workforce. In the months March to April this year, 5,050 employees in the industrial sector lost their jobs out of which 680 accounted for layoffs in the food sector," said Ruby Ginel, deputy director of the economics division at the Manufacturers Association. The association's report, which is based on a monthly analysis of the state of the industry, showed that in the months March to April, 1,224 workers were laid off in the metals and electricity sector and 1,550 employees lost their jobs in the hi-tech sector. During the same period, 400 workers were fired in the textile and clothing sector, 220 workers within the chemicals sector, 130 employees from the paper industry, 94 workers in the jewelry sector and 60 employees across the wood and furniture sector. Ginel added that the average number of workers in the industrial sector fell by 1.4 percent in the March to April period compared with the average in the January to February period. Since the economic crisis hit the industrial sector in the second quarter of last year, 17,880 workers were laid off. Monthly analysis showed that industrial production continued to decline in the months March to April, albeit at a more moderate pace. Industrial output was down 2.7% compared with average output in the January to February period this year, after industrial production dropped 3.5% on average in the first two months of the year compared with the previous two months. From the third quarter of 2008 to the end of April, industrial output narrowed by an a cumulative rate of 9.6%, Ginel added.