The construction industry increased its average productivity per employee by 15% in 2009, according to research by Glenigan.
The research body's latest Construction Key Performance Indicators show the sharpest increase in productivity for five years.
However, the increase has come at the cost of over 200,000 jobs and a fall in the median profit margin from almost 10% a year ago to 7.7%. The figures exclude companies that succumbed to the recession.
Despite the pressures faced by the on the industry, construction clients reported a marked increase in projects delivered to cost.
Clients also believed that the industry was improving the impact of its activities upon the environment.
The KPIs are used as a benchmark to improve client satisfaction and by government to measure the effectiveness of contractors.
Glenigan conducts the survey of clients, consultants and contractors to deliver the KPIs in partnership with Constructing Excellence for BIS and the Office of National Statistics (ONS).