A third of construction firms were on the lookout for recruits last year, according to a survey from Jobcentre Plus.

In 2005, 31% of British construction businesses were actively recruiting staff, a rise of two percentage points on the previous year. The public sector had the biggest percentage of employers recruiting at 61%, followed by healthcare at 52%.

Construction firms accounted for 5% of UK employers looking to recruit, with construction vacancies making up 3% of the total of available jobs.

By region, recruitment was strongest in the North-east and the East Midlands, where 43% of firms were looking for staff, while London was the weakest region with 36% of businesses looking for workers.