Gleeds is also doing a review of its UK offices with redundancies expected

Job cuts among consultants continued to escalate this week as QS Davis Langdon said it had axed 90 positions since September.

Rob Smith, senior partner at the firm, said the cuts, which amount to about 5% of UK staff, were caused by “tough market conditions”. He added that DL had also moved about 40 people to the Middle East since August.

Rob Smith, Davis Langdon senior partner

He said: “We continue to do all we can to minimise the losses and support those affected. One such measure is moving people to where our growth is strong.”

Competitor Gleeds is also doing a root-and-branch review of its UK offices and redundancies are expected. A spokesperson said: “Gleeds is reviewing all aspects of its operation.”

Engineering firm Scott Wilson said it had cut 68 jobs (2%), mainly in property.

Further redundancies have also been made in the architecture sector. Firms understood to have reduced staff by between 10 and 40 employees include Assael, Building Design Partnership, Chapman Taylor, Grimshaw and Kohn Pedersen Fox.

One measure to support those affected is moving people to where growth is strong

Rob Smith, Davis Langdon

One architect said: “Lots of companies are struggling. Anyone whose expertise is in commercial or residential work has laid off a good proportion of staff.”

Architects suffered particularly badly in the recession in the early nineties, with as many as 40% of staff losing their jobs.

Contractors and suppliers also continued to suffer. On Tuesday, materials firm Wolseley admitted that it had axed 5,000 jobs since July and planned to cut 2,300 more. About 200 of its branches are set to close after profit slumped 45%.

Mace said it would no longer bid for open market contracting work in Scotland, owing to the “fiercely competitive market”.

Meanwhile, regeneration specialist Urban Splash said it had axed 60 positions (21%) and put two schemes on hold.

Demolition firm McGee confirmed this week it had axed about 40 of its 410 staff.