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Numbers up despite small output growth

MORE people are working in the industry, despite only modest growth in output.

Construction output in the first three months of the year grew by less than 0.5 per cent over the previous quarter, according to the latest figures from the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions. The increase was mainly due to growth in non-housing repair and maintenance.

The volume of new work in the same period was 1.5 per cent lower than the previous quarter and 9 per cent lower than in the same period last year. But the number of workers in the industry is rising. The figures show the number of employees in April 1999 was 5 per cent higher than a year earlier.

Total employment, including the self-employed, is also increasing. There were 4 per cent more people working in the industry in April 1999 than in January 1999.