Construction unemployment down 23% year-on-year

Construction unemployment

Dominick Sandford, Managing Director at IronmongeryDirect and ElectricalDirect, says: “Like most industries, UK construction took a massive hit during the pandemic and sadly thousands of workers found themselves unemployed. However, new data has revealed that the number of those without work in the sector is down 23% year-on-year, suggesting stability has started to return.

“Between December 2021 and February 2022, there were 54,000 unemployed construction workers, which is 16,000 fewer than the year before. Last winter, the number reached 70,000, which was just shy of the COVID-19 peak of 75,000 (July to September 2020).

“The recent drop of 4,000 is the sharpest decrease in unemployment in eight months.

“Redundancies are also significantly down year-on-year. There were 5,000 over the winter, which is 44% fewer than the equivalent period 12 months ago (9,000).

“With more people in the sector, it’s perhaps unsurprising that the average hours worked and earnings for each individual fell slightly, but they remain high.

“Weekly earnings now stand at £680 on average, which is £13 less than a month before. However, the £693 figure reported in January is the highest since records began 22 years prior, and the February wage was still up 6% from last year.

“Similarly, the average number of hours worked each week dropped a little from 35.2 to 35.1, but this is still 8% higher than 2021.

“The drop in unemployment is fantastic news for UK construction and follows recent increases in the overall number of workers. This data hopefully suggests that we’re set for a positive summer, with plenty of opportunities for the excellent people working in the sector.”

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