A leaked assessment by the jobs agency FÁS has reportedly concluded that up to one-quarter of all construction workers could lose their jobs by the end of next year.
Reports this morning say more than 65,000 people could be out of work by the end of 2009 due to the slowdown in the building sector.
The FÁS study blames the economic downturn and the plummeting value of new property.
It says men will be worst-hit, with builders, carpenters and plasterers most at risk of losing their jobs.
However, the study also says the losses will be offset slightly by the creation of more than 20,000 construction jobs in other areas, including projects in the National Development Plan.