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Construction bosses rank among the top quarter of earners in British industry.According to an Institute of Management salary survey, which covered 339 organisations, directors of construction companies earned an average of £79,000 last year.Managers came in at less than half that figure, with salaries of about £36,000. And about a fifth of construction managers included in the survey received bonuses - on average, about £6,800.The survey shows that while many people working in the industry face wage freezes or nominal cost of living increases, the salaries of managers and directors continue to run ahead of inflation.Of 17 other industrial sectors, construction ranks as the fifth highest payer of directors. Top comes the privatised utility companies like water, electricity and gas, then major distribution companies, followed by banking and financial services, food and drink retailing and then construction.Overall, the earnings of managers from all industry categories rose by 4.5 per cent last year. Directors' earnings rose by 6.1 per cent. Both figures are in excess of the population as a whole, which recorded an average increase of only 3 per cent.But Roger Young, director-general of the Institute of Management, said top earners had been hard hit by tax rises. He added: 'If inflation peaks at 3.25 per cent over the next 12 months the average manager will need an increase in earnings of 6.8 per cent just to maintain present purchasing power.' CONSTRUCTION NEWS