Construction sector at risk of 90,000 redundancies

A whopping 90,000 jobs could be axed across the construction industry in the first half of 2009, a trade body warned today.

The Federation of Master Builders polled its members and found that 52% planned to make redundancies in the first six months of the year.

The body’s State of Trade survey said that if this trend was repeated by all small and medium-sized construction firms, at least 90,000 jobs would be lost.

The survey also found that 60% of member firms reported a fall in workloads – which are down for the fourth consecutive quarter.

Richard Diment, director-general at the Federation of Master Builders, said: “These figures are truly devastating.

“We know that when the recession last hit our industry, 500,000 people were made redundant. We cannot allow that to happen again. The construction sector is weakening at a shocking rate, which is why the government must act now to prevent any further suffering.”

Diment called for the government to increase consumer confidence with measures including a targeted cut in VAT to 5% on home maintenance and repairs.

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