That is the prime conclusion of the latest monthly Report on Jobs, published today by the Recruitment & Employment Confederation (REC) and KPMG.
The index for permanent construction professionals rose from 61.9 in August to 64.7 in September and was above the average for all types of permanent staff (62.0).
The index monitoring temporary construction vacancies was down from 57.5 in August to 56.5 in September – below the UK average of 58.9. A reading of 50 indicates no change.
Weekly earnings in the year to July jumped by 4%, significantly more than the 3.4% average for private sector wages and the 2.9% average for wage growth overall.
Richard Threlfall, head of infrastructure, building and construction at KPMG, said: “This latest data confirms the unrelenting pressure on the UK construction industry from both shortage and cost of labour. Over the last year construction has moved up the ranking to become the third highest sector in terms of demand for permanent staff, and this month’s report highlights critical shortages in construction estimators and temporary construction workers.”
He added: “Last week’s ONS stats suggested a drop in construction output, but we need to be really careful about drawing conclusions from month on month movements, especially for August which is inevitably a quieter month than July. The critical indicator is the year-on-year growth which for new work was over 3%. This latest jobs data is a more reliable bellwether of the real position of the industry: high demand; supply-constrained; cost-squeezed. It is good times for those who have invested in their workforce, hold their loyalty and can bring an experienced team to site; it is purgatory for those who are spending all their time scrambling about in the jobs market.”