But sector was biggest contributor to number of insolvencies among UK businesses

Construction output recovered to pre-covid levels for the first time last year, according to new data released by the ONS. 

The value of new work in 2022, measured in current prices, increased 15.8% to a record high of £133bn, driven by a growth in both private and public sector work. 

Private new housing and public infrastructure were among the biggest contributors to growth, posting rises of 22.8% and 12.8% respectively. 

The biggest grower, however, was private industrial new work (56%) but this boom may have been short-lived as it was also the only sector that experienced a decline in new orders last year. 

Construction new orders overall rose 11.4% in 2022 to £80.8bn, driven by private infrastructure, private commercial and other public non-housing. 

Infrastructure new orders were largely driven by new orders in electricity, which increased 226.8% between 2021 and 2022. 

There was growth in both the number of firms in Great Britain (5.9%) and number of employees (3.3%), with London and the South-east continuing to dominate the market, with the highest concentration of both firms and employees. 

The number of self-employed construction workers dropped 3.4% to 674,000. 

The construction industry saw a 59.4% annual increase in the number of recorded company insolvencies in 2022 and the sector was the biggest contributor to total insolvencies across the overall economy in 2022, accounting for 18.8% of the total. 

Construction had the fourth largest number of insolvencies proportionally to number of firms in the industry.