Workloads in the UK's civil engineering sector did not improve in the second quarter of the year despite an upturn in work for large contractors, the latest survey published by the Civil Engineering Contractors Association shows.
The amount of work won by small and medium-sized firms saw little change and only slight growth in road jobs for larger contractors pushed growth in the sector ahead of the previous quarter.
Regionally, only firms based in Scotland and Yorkshire and Humberside reported positive gains in their order books.
Highways and rail work remained weak despite gains by larger contractors working on local road jobs. Orders from the water sector slipped across the country except for Scotland.
A quarter of contractors reported costs rising faster than a year ago. Employment was in its worst state for five years with contractors finding it difficult to find labourers and engineers.
Expectations for future trends in orders over the next year were higher than the previous quarter, with large firms the most optimistic, despite a drop in expectations for repair and maintenance work n.