Apparently there were 2,285,000 or so jobs in construction in the final quarter of last year up 47,000 on a year earlier and just 1,000 down on the quarter before, which appears to be the peak in this economic cycle.

Puzzled? Wondering where these jobs are? Wondering why you are signing on? Wondering who is it that is employing when most firms you know are axing staff like crazy? Trying to square the workforce jobs figures with the vacancy and redundancy figures and can't?

Well so am I.

I will let you know what answers I get from the statisticians.

Last quarter they told me that there was a possible margin of error in the figures of 56,000. But even if in the one in who knows chance of that being skewed all on the negative it still leaves a figure that will fill construction workers up and down the country with doubt.

I raise these doubt over the figures not because baiting statisticians is a national sport - personally it is a pastime I find discomforting - but because if these figures are wrong and are being used for "evidence based" policy making, then construction is being led up the garden path by the deluded.

Mind you if the figures are right then the construction industry has real problems as it would mean productivity fell off a cliff with output in the final quarter of last year.