Construction unemployment falls to lowest level since records began in 1995


Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect, said: 

“At the height of the pandemic in 2020, almost 80,000 construction workers were jobless. However, new data shows that the situation has vastly improved in recent months, and the sector’s unemployment rate is now at its lowest level since records began in 1995.  

“In fact, at 36,000 (June-August 2022), the number of people out of work in the industry is now less than half of what it was two years ago. It’s also 11,000 fewer than the last data period (May-July 2022), and down 27,000 year-on-year (YOY). 

“Furthermore, job vacancies in the sector are on the rise, so the number of employed workers could increase further. Between July and September, there were 45,000 listings advertised, which was 1,000 more than the previous quarter, and 1,000 more than this time last year. 

“Compared to 2021, there is seemingly more work available too, as the average number of hours worked each week is higher. Twelve months ago, construction employees typically did 36.1-hour weeks, but that has now risen to 36.3. 

“Accordingly, earnings are also considerably greater. In construction, average weekly income now stands at £692, which is £29 higher than last year, while in the electricity, gas and water supply sector, weekly wages are now at £767, up £40 YOY. 

“These pay increases must be interpreted in the context of the current Cost of Living crisis and rocketing inflation rates. The recent statistics indicate that salaries have increased approximately 4% vs. this time last year, however current inflation rates sit at around 9%. Tradespeople are fuelling Britain’s growth, and salaries must continue rising to help offset soaring living costs in order to attract more professionals to the sector. The new data suggests that the industry is in a fairly healthy position to be able to support its workforce moving forwards, however there’s still more to be done.” 

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