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Mon June 21 2021

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FMB survey confirms tough start to the year

22 Apr 13 One in three small building firms has shed staff since the turn of the year, according to the latest member survey of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB).

The FMB’s latest state of trade survey shows that overall workload among its members is falling rapidly. The net balance for residential workloads was -23%, compared to -15% in the final quarter of last year, giving particular cause for alarm.

FMB chief executive Brian Berry said: “Last year was a tough one for our members, but there were some encouraging signs in the final quarter of 2012 that the industry may be turning a corner. These latest survey results however paint a bleak picture, and our members are telling us that they are faced with the unenviable choice of putting up their prices or laying off staff.”

The first three months of 2013 have seen 30% of FMB members shed staff.

Some 39% of respondents said that their workload had fallen (compared to 31% last time). Only 18% said their workload had increased (compared to 22% last time).

Output prices, wages and salaries and material costs are all predicted to go up in the coming six months.

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