Figure is more than three times higher than same time last year, and takes total for year so far to 170,000

About 42,000 people in the construction industry lost their jobs in the three months to June, taking the redundancy tally for the year to 170,000.

New research from the Office for National Statistics shows losses for the quarter were more than three times as high as the equivalent period in 2008, when redundancies stood at 13,000.

However, the number of job cuts for the three-month period was down on the previous quarter, when 49,000 workers were axed.

The figures are part of a package of gloomy statistics released by the government this morning, which show the number of people out of work in the UK has risen to its highest level since 1995.

Unemployment soared to 2.4 million in the second quarter of 2009, a rise of 220,000, taking the jobless rate to 7.8%.