Rate of construction industry job losses increases

The construction industry is shedding jobs at its fastest pace since May 2011, having seen staffing levels fall every month since May 2007.

The Ulster Bank Construction Purchasing Managers’ Index indicates that construction activity fell sharply again in November as new orders declined at an accelerated pace. The index remained unchanged at 42.6 in November, signalling a further sharp monthly reduction in activity at Irish construction firms.

Respondents attributed the latest fall in activity to lower new orders and weak confidence.

The latest edition of the National Housing Construction Index, compiled by Link2Plans, outlines the continued decline in housing construction activity across the country.

Ulster Bank economist John Fahey said: “The November reading of the Ulster Bank Construction PMI indicates that business conditions remain very tough for Irish construction firms.

“The latest survey results show that while the pace of contraction in overall activity was unchanged from October levels, the reading of 42.6 indicates activity continues to fall sharply.

“From a sectoral perspective the weakness recorded in November was broad-based, with all three of the principal sub-sectors experiencing declining activity levels.

“The sharpest contraction was recorded in civil engineering, which retained its tag as the weakest of the three sectors, although both the housing and commercial activity indices continue to be some way below the expansion threshold of 50.

“Not surprisingly, given the ongoing contraction in activity, the sector remains in job-shedding mode, and in fact the pace of contraction in employment levels was at its sharpest since May 2011.

“The new orders index, an important lead indicator, fell at a faster pace compared to a month earlier and in the process registered its 11th consecutive month of contraction,” added Mr Fahey.


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