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53,000 employees abandon construction

Employment in the construction industry has shrunk by 53,000 in one year.

The figures, released today by the Office for National Statistics, represent a decrease of four per cent on the same period – April to June - last year.

Total employment in the industry was 1,293,000, down from the 1,346,000 registered in 2011 but up 34,000 from the last set of figures, for the period between January and March this year.

The rise on last quarter was the first registered in the past year.

Self-employed workers, meanwhile, were down 14,000 on the first quarter but up three per cent – or 25,000 – on the same quarter in 2011.

The figures come on the back of statistics released last week, showing that construction output contracted by 3.9 per cent in the past quarter.

Markit chief economist Chris Williamson said: “PMI survey data, which have indicated ongoing job creation among private sector employers in recent months, showed the steepest downturn in business activity for over three years in July, meaning employers will start to pull back on hiring unless demand for their goods and services picks up again soon.”

“An underlying weakness of the labour market is meanwhile also hinted at in the official data. Record numbers of people, some 1.42 million, are having to resort to part-time work because they cannot find suitable full-time employment. Some 71, 000  part time jobs were created in the the three months to June, the highest since records began in 1992.”

“This inability to find suitable full-time work is a indication of how weak the job market remains.”

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