Experts warn that spending cuts could see 500,000 jobless construction workers

Construction experts say unemployment could break the three-million mark if the industry is hit hard by planned government spending cuts.

The projections, made by the UK Contractors Group and reported in the Times, show that the sector could see more than half a million workers out of work after the general election.

James Wates, chairman of the UKCG, said: “Construction spending is one of the best means of stimulating economic activity and the best way of stimulating employment. The industry is 40% more labour-intensive than manufacturing and 75% more than financial services.

“It is an industry that imports less than 8 per cent of its supply, so spending on schools, hospitals and other public sector projects provides UK jobs.”

The UKCG currently estimates that up to £70bn could be cut from the 2010/11 government spend.