The latest employment figures show a continued shocking rate of redundacies in construction with another 42,000 jobs shed from the industry in the second quarter of this year.

That makes a total of 170,000 recorded job losses over the past 12 months.

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The number of redundancies was slightly down on the previous two quarters, partly this may be down to seasonal effects.

But that will be of little solace to those now on the dole and watching the number of job vacancies continue to dwindle.

The figure for registered vacancies now stands at 9,000, compared with 25,000 a year ago.

And detailed analysis of the claimant count figures show that there is the best part of 240,000 signing on who used to work in construction, that is 124,000 more than a year ago*.

While the good news is that the number on the dole is slightly down from the April figures of 251,000, much of this will be due to seasonal effects.

The impact of the rising unemployment has not yet been fully seen within the construction workforce jobs figures and we await the second quarter data.

It remains, as mentioned before, a puzzle that there was a drop of just 54,000 in the number of workforce jobs between September 2008 and March 2009, given the fall in output over that period.

This was despite redundancies in that period (2008 Q4 and 2009 Q1) totalling 97,000 and the claimant count for construction related jobs jumped by 109,000.

Ironically the recent kafuffle over the jobs figures concerns the numbers signing on (the claimant count) being less than the unemployment figures produced by the Labour Force Survey.

It would appear from the construction figures that the reverse is true in this sector, unless of course migrant workers are displacing the available national workforce at an alarming rate.

We have to be careful about definitions of workforce jobs and employment and obviously we have to accept that there are lags in the timing of recordings. But a crude look at the figures would suggest that the industry found a spare 55,000 workers from somewhere between last September and March this year.

Frankly the most likely answer is that the numbers working in the industry are falling far faster than the workforce jobs suggest.

If a lag in the timing is the reason for the disparity we should see a nasty fall when the second quarter figures come out next month.

* Source: National Statistics (Nomis: Crown copyright material is reproduced with the permission of the Controller Office of Public Sector Information (OPSI).