Latest ONS figures show total number of sector jobs down 0.4% on previous quarter

The construction sector workforce shrunk by 0.4% over the last quarter of 2010 to hit 2,128,000, the lowest level since March 2010, according to latest figures from the Office for National Statistics.

The total number of jobs is 2.4% less than in December 2009 and includes 44,000 public sector-related jobs.

Average weekly earnings for the industry, however, were slightly up in February on figures for January. Average earnings were £547 per week, compared with £541 the previous month.

Weekly bonus pay was also up in February, by 36%, to £22.

The number of vacancies in the sector increased from 11,000 to 13,000 during the last quarter of 2010 and now stands at 12,000.