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Chart of the Week: Construction's unemployed talent pool shrinks by 69% in 6 years

Construction’s available talent pool contracted again in Q2 this year, according to data from the Office for National Statistics.

Data from the ONS shows that the number of unemployed people who previously worked in construction stood at 69,700 in Q2 this year – the second lowest level reported in the past six years.

In Q4 2015, the figure also stood at 69,700, well below levels seen during the recession.

The data follows the ONS’s Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) measures, which includes site workers for demolition firms, glazers, roofers, joiners, plumbers, and electricians.

This means that there are fewer immediately available trained workers to fill skills gaps in the industry.

Although the construction workforce grew to a seven-year high in Q2 2016, and is 10 per cent higher than its recessionary trough, it is still comfortably below pre-recession levels, when nearly 2.6m people worked in the industry.

The CITB has also suggested that more unemployed construction workers were moving away from construction and into other industries.

In Q2 2010, there were over 218,000 unemployed workers who previously worked in the construction industry, but since then, that available workforce has fallen by 69 per cent.

The number of unemployed construction workers has been below 100,000 since Q2 2014.

The figures back up findings from the Farmer Review, which suggested that the labour pool was shrinking significantly.

Mr Farmer said these issues could lead to a 20-25 per cent reduction in the available workforce in the next decade.

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