Figures from the Office of National Statistics show big fall in employment in first quarter of 2010

The construction industry lost 63,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2010, according to the Office of National Statistics’ figures released today.

Employment levels fell 63,000 to the end of March, when there were 2.045 million people employed in the construction sector, compared with 2.108 million at the end of 2009.

Although there was a big fall in employment in this period, the number of redundancies in the construction sector during the first quarter fell to 29,000, compared with the 34,000 redundancies in the fourth quarter of 2009.

The discrepancy could be down to the large number of self-employed in the construction sector, who may not now be working in the sector but who are not included in the redundancy figures.

The unemployment rate for the UK as a wholefor the three months to May 2010 was 7.8%, down 0.1 on the quarter. The number of unemployed peoplefell 34,000 over the quarter to reach 2.47 million.