The numbers made redundant in construction over the past 12 months have mounted to 141,000, according to the latest set of figures released by the official statisticians at ONS.

Almost 100,000 of those redundancies were made in the six months from October last year to March this year.

These figures will grossly underestimate the numbers of people being forced out of work by the recession, as they do not take into account the self employed.

Perhaps more heartbreaking for those who have committed themselves to work in construction is the evaporation of job vacancies. These dropped further to just 11,000, having bobbed around a figure more than double that for most of the decade.

Just looking at those in direct employment, the chances of being made redundant in construction currently are three times higher than within economy as a whole.

The measured rate has been running at more than 30 per thousand each quarter over the six months to March, compared with just over 10 per thousand for the whole economy. That rate puts the chances of a construction employee losing their job within the year at worse than one in eight.

Even the ravaged manufacturing industries appear to offer greater job security, with the redundancy rate running at below 20 per thousand each quarter.

It is worth noting that the figures for construction redundancies do not provide a measure for the level of natural loses caused by firms not employing to replace people that move on or retire.

So, given the figures don't measure natural wastage and take no account of the impact on the self employed, the big puzzle within the figures remains the stated level of workforce jobs.

These appear to have remained resilient in the face of the fierce downturn, with numbers very close to peak up to the end of last year.

We have yet to see the latest stab at a figure from the national statistician. The next update on the workforce jobs figures, for the period to March, are due to be revealed next month.

It seems highly improbably that they will not reveal a plunge in workforce jobs given the high level of redundancies we have seen over the past six months.

But stranger things have happened.