FMB’s latest survey suggests further bleakness for employment in construction sector

Nearly half of all small builders saw workloads fall over the last three months, according to the latest member survey from the Federation of Masters Builders.

The survey found that 43% saw workloads fall, with 36% expecting to see falls in the next three months. It also found that a third of SME builders have been forced to reduce staffing over the last three months.

Director-general of the FMB, Richard Diment, said “Estimates suggest that we have already lost 125,000 skilled workers from the sector. Allowing the skills base to deteriorate in this way risks holding back the recovery”.

Diment warned that the industry has still not hit the bottom, with 29% of construction SMEs expecting to cut more jobs over the next six months. “Added to this is the growing concern about the rise in the cost of materials, with 87% of firms expecting costs to increase over the next six months,” he said.

Diment added: “Without the government’s support for the building industry, the fragile economic recovery will be seriously undermined”.