Northern Irish trade body the Construction Employers Federation has warned the country’s devolved administration that job losses in the industry could top 30,000 by next year if capital spending is not protected.
Official figures showed that the number of people in the construction industry dropped from 87,000 at the end of 2007 to 66,000 at the end of the second quarter in 2010.
CEF manager Ciarán Fox said: “Twenty-one thousand people have lost their livelihood in construction in the space of only 30 months.
“If that rate continues there will be well over 30,000 jobs lost from the sector by the end of 2011. Whether or not that disaster actually happens depends largely on the actions of the Northern Ireland Executive.”
He called on the Executive to protect capital spending when it was handed its budget after next month’s comprehensive spending review.