Construction employment drops by 5.3%
The number of people in the UK employed in construction fell by 5.3% in the second quarter of 2020 compared to the year before – a decline of 124,000 people.
Figures from the Office of National Statistics showed that there were 2.24m people employed in the sector in the April-June quarter this year.
That was 83,000 fewer than in the previous quarter (a decline of 3.6%), and 124,000 fewer than in April to June 2019 (a decline of 5.3%).
However, the impact on construction employment of the coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown is thought to have been softened by the government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, with 28.2% of the construction workforce still on furlough (and therefore still technically employed).
Construction Products Association economics director Noble Francis highlighted the fact that fall so far in 2020 contrasts with 481,500 jobs lost after the 2008 financial crisis, but warned that job losses lag behind the fall in activity.