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Thu July 25 2024

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No summer in 2019 for construction recruiters

9 Oct 19 The usual upswing in summer construction activity failed to materialise in 2019, according to a leading recruitment firm.

The three summer months of June, July, and August usually see approximately 30% of all permanent annual recruitment jobs filled in the construction sector – it was 29% in 2018, for example.  But in 2019, the summer accounted for just 16% of the previous 12 months’ recruitment placements, as projects were put on hold or work slowed.

Only 12% of the year’s senior site managers’ roles were placed in the summer months this year, compared to 40% in 2018. 

In the 12 months to 1st September 2018, 37% of assistant site manager hires were made in the three summer months.  This year, it was just 9%. 

Just 15% of the project management placements were made this summer – compared to 24% in the year to 1st September 2018. 

Owen Goodhead, managing director of Randstad Construction Property & Engineering, said: “In construction, about 30% of all annual placements are made over the three summer months. But 2019 was different. This year, summer didn’t happen. It was dismal. The new jobs market has been devastated.

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“The construction jobs market has been doing well since the referendum.  We found 23% more jobs for people in 2017 than we did in 2016.  And 2018 was better than 2017.  But the uncertainty and the delayed projects are now catching up with the industry – even house-building, which had been looking pretty robust.  Parliamentary chaos and indecision within the Palace of Westminster has pulled the rug from under the feet of the construction industry. The entire course of the construction industry is now being set by Brexit as clients cut budgets and property developers delay decision-making. The prime minister, the government, and parliamentarians must all take heed.  MPs need to agree a Brexit plan between them or let us leave without a deal or move a vote of no confidence or agree to an election. Until one of those things happen, the British labour market is going to keep running out of steam.”

Although the number of job vacancies falls, pay in construction is still holding up.  According to Randstad, average pay rose to £51,900 in the 12 months to 1st September 2019, from £49,800 last year – an increase of 4%.

Pay in project management has increased 0.9% from £63,700 in the year to 1st September 2018 to £64,300.  Average pay across site management is up 2.2% from £49,100 last year to £50,200.

Average pay in quantity surveying is up from £52,200 to £56,700, an increase of 9%.

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