Survey Finds SMEs in Construction Sector Concerned

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24th August 2012 17:10 - Construction

The most recent State of Trade Survey by the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has discovered a less than positive state of affairs amongst SMEs in the construction sector.

In the second quarter of 2012, lower employment levels were reported by more than a third of builders, while 30% of construction SMEs expect to reduce employment levels over the next six months.

The study further found that while construction workloads saw a further decline in the second quarter of this year, a quarter of firms indicated that workloads had risen during this period, representing a slight improvement from 23% in the first quarter of the year.

Overall however, the outlook for the next three months has deteriorated to only 22% of respondents reporting positive expectations for workloads – this is a decrease from 27% three months ago.

Chief executive of the FMB, Brian Berry, commented on the survey findings: “The problems affecting the construction sector pose real problems for the wider economy, not just because of the direct cost of unemployment but because of the impact on the industry’s skills base. Evidence from past recessions shows that when people leave the construction industry they tend not to return when the economy recovers. This leaves the industry short of skills, which in turn delays projects and forces up prices when demand returns.”

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