The latest official labour market figures show a drop of 66,000 in the number of construction workforce jobs over the year to June.

On the face of it, though, there appears to be a bit of promise with the number of jobs holding up well in the second quarter compared with the first quarter figure of 2,095,000. Admittedly this was revised down by 20,000 from the number in the previous release.

This number of jobs, by the way, is comparable with the level seen in 2003.

Drawing meaning from the stability in jobs over the first two quarters of this year is tricky.

Given that there was a weather-impacted start to the year, the fact that jobs appeared to be fairly stable in the second quarter might be regarded as disappointing.

Importantly too, it must be noted that these figures are taken from samples and should not be read as precise.

But with that caveat in mind and the other background, it is probably fair to conclude the underlying trend is down.

Further, with workload falling away, vacancies low and redundancies still hitting firms it is a fair bet that the numbers will fall further.

So far the loss of construction workforce jobs from the peak in 2008 is about 280,000.

It’s a shame I can’t make the graph look more cheery.