Employment in the housing sector could fall by more than 35,000 in the next two years, according to a forecast by Experian and Construction Skills.

The research, commissioned by Building, predicted that employment in the housing sector was likely to fall from 407,000 to 371,000 between the end of 2007 and 2009.

The figures are based on extrapolation of the Office of National Statistics’ Labour Force Survey, and should be treated as approximate, according to Experian. The firm also points out that many people in trade jobs will be able to move from residential to non-residential work.

However, the change could be more severe than the prediction, as the figures assume a 7.2% fall in housing output this year. This projection was made before the market worsened in the past two months.

A number of housebuilders are predicting that the number of homes built in England this year will be between 100,000 and 130,000, a decline of between 25% and 40%.

The news comes as Persimmon this week confirmed that it had started a 30-day consultation with staff aimed at reducing head count in the 5,500-strong firm by “several hundred”.