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Scottish construction jobs fall 27%

9 May 13 The number of people working in the construction industry in Scotland has shrunk by 27% since 2008, new figures reveal.

Updated labour market figures from Scotland’s Annual Population Survey show the construction sector has shed 62,500 jobs lost in the space of five years, including 14,500 jobs in the course of 2012.

There was an 8% fall in Scottish construction jobs last year alone.

Total employment within the Scottish construction industry has gone from 235,234 in 2008 to 172,700 in 2012.

Scottish Building Federation executive director Michael Levack said: “We already know about the tough times building firms are currently experiencing. But these figures lay bare the huge extent of the damage done to the construction industry by the economic downturn. Over the past five years, more jobs have been lost from the building sector than from the Scottish economy as a whole. Since 2008, we’ve lost more than a quarter of our workforce, which is nothing short of staggering.”

He added: “Job losses of this scale require the Scottish and UK governments to adopt a targeted strategy to rebuild capacity. That must include tax measures such as cutting VAT on building repairs and maintenance to stimulate industry activity. There must be more focused support to help building companies recruit and retain apprentices. We also need to see a sustained effort to prioritise public investment in construction activity and further measures to streamline planning and procurement to get projects off the ground more quickly.”

Year

Total employment

Year on year change

Total construction employment

Year on year change

2004

2,430,600

209,032

2005

2,450,500

+19,900

203,292

-5,740

2006

2,498,100

+47,600

224,829

+21,537

2007

2,524,700

+26,600

232,272

+7,443

2008

2,529,400

+4,700

235,234

+2,962

2009

2,492,100

-37,300

196,876

-38,358

2010

2,472,500

-19,600

190,383

-6,493

2011

2,463,800

-8,700

187,249

-3,134

2012

2,467,600

+3,800

172,732

-14,517

Change: 2012 vs. 2004

+37,000

-36,300

Change: 2012 vs. 2008

-61,800

-62,502

Source: Local Area Labour Markets in Scotland - Statistics from the Annual Population Survey 2012, published 8 May 2013: http://www.scotland.gov.uk/Publications/2013/05/6728

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